10.8.12

June Black History

The Peoples Community Radio Link, 103.5 F.M Stereo


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1st. JUNE      

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  010: MENELIK II 1844-1913 
         National Day-Tunisia
1919  Marcus Garvey establishes The Black Star Line shipping company this month. (tr)
1928  Morgan Freeman, actor born today. Stars in Driving Miss Daisy and A Shau Shar Redemption. (mn-tx)
1948  John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson #1, dies, Chicago, Ill., USA. Easily the most important harmonica player of the pre-war era, John Lee Williamson almost single-handedly made the humble mouth organ a worthy lead instrument for blues bands — leading the way for the amazing innovations of Little Walter and a platoon of others to follow. If not for his tragic murder in 1948 while on his way home from a Chicago gin mill, Williamson would doubtless have been right there alongside them. (mn-rs-bd)
1973  WGPR-TV, first television station owned by African-Americans, is granted a permit to operate. (tr-iokts)
1974  Goofy, ragga star, born Chad Simpson in Jamaica, West Indies. I Don't Give A Damn!! review:As his name suggests, Goofy is one of reggae's cleverest and funniest DJs. I Don't Give a Damn compiles the hits on which he built his reputation, along with previously unreleased material. His witty take on dancehall is exemplified in songs like "Meow," "Buff Bay," "Brush Yu Teeth" and "Dark Glass," which features Beenie Man on guest vocals.  (mn-cl)
1984  Nate Nelson singer with The Flamingos dies. Both prolific and seminal in their influence and impact, the Flamingos may have been the greatest harmonizing vocal ensemble ever, and were certainly among the premier units of the doo wop/R&B era. They originally called themselves the Swallows, but had to change names when they found out that a Baltimore group already had the name. Carter suggested El Flamingos, which was changed to the Five Flamingos, and later the Flamingos. (mn-jt-rw)
1991  David Ruffin, soul singer with The Temptations dies in Philadelpia. One of the greatest lead singers the Motown stable ever had, David Ruffin became one of the artistic cornerstones of the Temptations after his lead vocal on "My Girl" (1965) paved the way for such majestic follow-ups as "Since I Lost My Baby" (1965), "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep" (1966), "All I Need" (1967), and "I Wish It Would Rain" (1968). Unfortunately, ever-mounting internal pressures within the group, coupled with Ruffin's swelling ego, led to his dismissal from the group in late 1968. Died of a drug overdosee. (mn-jt-jw)
1993  IDTV, the U.K.'s first black entertainment TV channel, is launched on cable in London.
1997  Malcolm, 12-year-old grandson of the late Malcolm X is charged with juvenile equivalent to attempted murder and arson. Betty Shabazz, 63, Malcolm X's widow dies from burns sustained in the fire. (mn)
2007 Tony Ulysees Thompson singer dies in Waco, Texas, USA from a drug overdose. Tony was with the group Hi-Five when thay had the Teddy Rilley hit 'I like the way (the kissing game)' in 1991. (b. 2nd September 1975, Waco, Texas, U.S.A. (soulwalking)

2nd. JUNE      

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  011: EASTAVANIC0 ? - 1539
1932  Sammy Turner, singer born Samuel Black in Patterson, New Jersey. He joined the local church choir when he was three. On leaving school he joined US Air Force and fought in the Korean War. Herb Lotez signed him to the Big Top label where he recorded with the Twisters also had a US No.3 single with Lavender Blue in 1959. He was with Motown in  1964 for one year. (mn-jt-sd)
1937  Jimmy Jones, soul singer born, Birmingham, Alabama, USA. Best known for his 1960 R&B smash "Handy Man. In 1954, he joined his first doo wop group, the Berliners, who soon changed their name to the Sparks of Rhythm. Jones recorded a few sides with them in 1955, then left to form his own group, the Savoys. Teamed with writer/producer Otis Blackwell, Jones recorded a song he'd written back in his Sparks of Rhythm days called "Handy Man." By early 1960, "Handy Man" had rocketed into the Top Five on both the pop and R&B charts. Jones followed "Handy Man" with another Top Ten hit, "Good Timin'," later that year. That proved to be the full extent of his major commercial success.  In 2002, thanks to Jones' continued popularity on Britain's Northern soul circuit, Castle/Sanctuary issued a double-disc anthology titled Good Timin': The Anthology. (mn-cl-sh)
1941  William Guest, singer with Glady's knight & The Pips is born in Atlanta, Although the Pips never had any commercial success on their own, they were famous for the distinctive background harmonies that they provided for Gladys Knight for many years. From 1961's "Every Beat of My Heart" to 1973's "Midnight Train to Georgia" to 1988's "Love Overboard," the Pips backed Knight on one major hit after another. Knight first started working with the Pips in 1952, when she was only eight and formed a quintet with her brother Merald "Bubba" Knight. (mn-jt)
1947  Anthone Chubby Tavares, singer with Tavares is born. The group originally performed together as the Del Rios. By the mid-60's they turned professional and changed their name to Chubby & The Turnpikes before becoming Tavares on a European tour. In 1973 the group signed with Capitol and worked with producer Johnny Bristol for their debut single/album Check It Out. (mn-rt)
1948  Herb McKenley, Jamaican-born track star, sets a new world record for the 400-yard dash. Herbert Henry "Herb" McKenley (born July 10, 1922) is a former Jamaican athlete, winner of gold medal in 4x400 m relay at the 1952 Summer Olympics. Born in Pleasant Valley, Clarendon, Jamaica, Herb McKenley enrolled the University of Illinois, and won the NCAA championships in 220 yd and 440 yd in 1946 and 1947. He was also the AAU champion in 440 yd in 1945, 1947 and 1948, and was also the head of the list of world best times in 100 m (10.3), 200 m (20.4) and 400 m (46.2) in 1947. He is the only person to have ever done this feat. Just before the 1948 London Olympics, McKenley ran the new world in 400 m of 46.0, which he overrun a month later, clocking 45.9. But at the Olympics itself, McKenley finished only second in 400 m, behind a fellow teammate Arthur Wint and was fourth in 200 m. He probably lost a gold medal in 4x400 m relay, when Wint pulled his muscle in the final. At the 1951 Pan-American Games, McKenley was third in 100 m, 200 m and 400 m, which is quite unique feat. At the Helsinki Olympics, McKinley was second in 100 m (the first four clocked 10.4 in a very close race) and also second in 400 m. He finally got his Olympic gold, when he helped the Jamaican 4x400 m relay team to win the race with a new world record of 3.03.9. After retireing from sports, McKenley was a coach of the Jamaican national team from 1954 to 1973 and served also as a president of Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association. (wickpedia)
950  U.S. Supreme Court outlaws segregation of dining cars in interstate transportation. (tr-iokts)
1997  Man sues cops for 'harassment'. Read the headline in the Voice newspaper. PCRL's Cee Jay is now very fed-up as he is being stopped by the police once every three weeks, he has now got over 34 'producers' going back over three years. Up till now no charges have been made against him. Leading civil rights barrister Peter Herbert has taken up his case. He said: "Police have a habit of harassing members of the Black community. Carl's case is a perfect  example of this. Police harassment is a civil wrong." If successful, he could get up to £25,000 in damages. Cee Jay say's if he succeeds  he'll give the money to Sickle Cell research. He later failed to win his case.  (mn-cj)
2008 Bo Diddley dies. b. Otha Ellas Bates, a.k.a. Ellas McDaniel, 30th December 1928, McComb, Mississippi, U.S.A. d. 2nd June 2008, Archer, Florida, U.S.A. Musician Bo Diddley has died at the age of 79. He died of heart failure in Florida, and had suffered a heart attack in August 2007, three months after suffering a stroke which affected his ability to speak. Bo was a member of The Hipsters and Langley Avenue Jive Cats and was a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee, Mississippi Musicians Hall Of Fame Inductee, Washington Area Music Association's Hall Of Fame Inductee, Blues Hall Of Fame Inductee and North Florida Music Association's Hall Of Fame Inductee. Bo Diddley rose to fame in 1955 and his hits included 'Who Do You Love', 'Before You Accuse Me', and 'Mona'. His own style of guitar playing, he called the 'Bo Diddley beat' influenced rockers from Buddy Holly, to Bruce Springsteen and U2. Born Ellas Otha Bates in Mississppi in 1928, he changed his name to McDaniel when he was adopted by his mother's cousin. He moved with his new family to the South Side of Chicago where he acquired his Bo Diddley nickname at school. In his teens, he trained as a boxer while regularly playing guitar on street corners when not in school. He built his first rectangular guitar, that was to become his hallmark, while still a student. Later Bo performed at regular gigs at the 708 Club during 1951. By 1955, he had signed to Leonard Chess's Checker label. His first single, the classic 'Bo Diddley', reached number one on the R & B charts. Bo's greatest pop successes came in 1959 when 'Say Man' hit the Top 20, and in 1962 when 'You Can't Judge a Book by the Cover' entered the Top 50. Playing live, his group featured Jerome Green, Otis Spann, Billy Boy Arnold, Frank Kirkland, and, later, his half-sister 'The Duchess'. Bo Diddley toured extensively throughout the 1960s and 70's. He played with The Clash in 1979, introducing his sound to a new generation. In the late 1980s, he toured with Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood as The Gunslingers and released the album 'Live at the Ritz'. In 1989, Bo appeared with baseball star Bo Jackson in a TV commercial for sports shoes, and in 1996, he released his first major album in two decades, 'A Man Amongst Men', with guest artists that included Ron Wood, Keith Richards and The Shirelles. He also made some cameo appearances in movies playing a pawnbroker in the Eddie Murphy film 'Trading Places' and in 1998 he appeared in 'Blues Brothers 2000'. PCRL ran a 25 episode life story about Bo in the late 1990's read by Maxine Jayne. (mn-soulwalking.co.uk)

3rd. JUNE 

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  012: CRISPUS ATTUCKS 1723?-1770

1890  Black Invention: Corn Harvester, H .L. Jones. (sc)
1897  Memphis Minnie, blues singer born.  The most popular and prolific blueswoman outside the vaudeville tradition, she earned the respect of critics, the support of record-buying fans, and the unqualified praise of the blues artists she worked with throughout her long career. Despite her Southern roots and popularity, she was as much a Chicago blues artist as anyone in her day. Big Bill Broonzy recalls her beating both him and Tampa Red in a guitar contest and claims she was the best woman guitarist he had ever heard. Tough enough to endure in a hard business, she earned the respect of her peers with her solid musicianship and recorded good blues over four decades for Columbia, Vocalion, Bluebird, Okeh, Regal, Checker, and JOB. (d. Aug 6, 1973) (mn-rs-blp)
1904  Dr. Charles Drew, Father of Blood Plasma Banks, born.  He protested against the practice of racial segregation in the donation of blood to blood banks from donors of different races since it lacked scientific foundation. Charles R. Drew was born in Washington, D.C. to Richard and Nora Drew, and was the oldest of five children. In High School and at Amherst College, Drew excelled in athletics. Drew was a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. For two years after college, Drew worked as an athletic director, football coach, and science teacher at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1928, he entered medical school at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Drew continued to excel in sports while at McGill, and joined British professor Dr. John Beattie in blood research. He continued his research at Montreal General Hospital, while an intern and resident. (wickpedia)
1924  Jimmy Rogers, bluesman, born James lane, Atlanta, Ga., USA. Guitarist Jimmy Rogers was the last living connection to the groundbreaking first Chicago band of Muddy Waters (informally dubbed the Headhunters for their penchant of dropping by other musicians' gigs and "cutting their heads" with a superior onstage performance). Born James A. Lane (Rogers was his stepdad's surname), the guitarist grew up all over: Mississippi, Atlanta, West Memphis, Memphis, and St. Louis. Actually. Rogers virtually retired from music for a time during the 1960s, operating a West side clothing shop that burned down in the aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King's tragic assassination. He returned to the studio in 1972 for Leon Russell's Shelter logo, cutting his first LP, Gold-Tailed Bird (with help from the Aces and Freddie King). Rogers died December 19, 1997. (mn-rs)
1940  Joe Higgs, reggae artist born in Kingston, Jamaica. Hugely influential in the birth of ska, rock steady and reggae forms of Jamaican music, Higgs was widely respected as a composer, arranger and performer, but perhaps most of all as a teacher. Among those he trained were Bob Marley, Derreck Harriot, Peter Tosh, Bob Andy, the Wailing Souls and Bunny Wailer. It was in Higg's Trench Town yard that Bob Marley received many years of private tutoring in vocal technique and stagecraft from Higgs, years before he began performing with the Wailers. Marley later admitted that "Joe Higgs was a genius, "crediting him for his international musical success. On Decemebr 18,1999 "The Father of Reggae Music" dies in a LA hospital, aged 59 following several months treatment for cancer. (mn-echoes 8/1/00)
1942  Curtis Mayfield, soul music singer/writer/producer and motivating force behind Chicago's music industry, born on this day in Chicago. As a songwriter and vocalist with the Impressions, Mayfield established an early reputation as one of soul music's most intuitive talents. In the decade between 1961 and 1971, he penned a succession of exemplary singles for his group, including 'Gypsy Woman' (1961), 'It's Alright' (1963), 'People Get Ready'(1965), We're A Winner'   (1968) and 'Choice of Colours' (1969), the subjects of which ranged from simple, tender love songs to broadsides demanding social and political equality. Years later Bob Marley lifted lines from the anthemic 'People Get Ready' to populate his own opus, 'One Love'. Two independent record companies, Windy C and Curtom, emphasized Mayfield's statesman-like role within black music, while his continued support for other artists - as composer, producer or session guitarist - enhanced a virtually peerless reputation. In 1990 a freak accident on stage happened when a sound rig fell on him on stage, killing his drummer and paralysing Mayfield from the neck down. He was unable to play guitar, but he wrote, sang, and directed the recording of his last album, New World Order (1996). Mayfield's vocals were painstakingly recorded, usually line-by-line while lying on his back. Mayfield received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. In February, 1998, he had to have his right leg amputated owing to diabetes. Mayfield was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 1999. Health reasons prevented him from attending the ceremony, which included fellow inductees Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Dusty Springfield, George Martin, and 1970s Curtom signee and labelmate The Staple Singers. His last appearance on record was with the group Bran Van 3000 on the song "Astounded" for their album Discosis, recorded just before his death and released in 2001. Curtis Mayfield died on December 26, 1999 at the North Fulton Regional Hospital in Roswell, Georgia his health having steadily declined following his paralysis. (mn-cl)
1946  Eddie Holman, soul singer born in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.A. Eddie Holman's 1970 number two smash "Hey There Lonely Girl," with its creamy falsetto vocals and lush Philly soul arrangement, is one of the most well-remembered one-shot soul hits. Actually, Holman had been recording since the early '60s, scoring some minor hits with "This Can't Be True" (1965) and "Am I a Loser (From the Start)" (1966). In 1969, he hooked up with Philadelphia producer Peter DeAngelis. His arrangements for Holman, however, rivaled Gamble-Huff's in quality, yielding some other minor R&B hits in 1969 and 1970 with "I Love You," "Don't Stop Now," and "Cathy Called," as well as an album in 1970. Most identified with his rich falsetto, Holman actually sang in a much more traditional vocal range on much of his material, some of which was written by himself or his wife, Sheila. He largely vanished from sight after 1970, though he recorded for several labels in the '70s with a fine gospel album 'United' in 1984 (mn-ru)
1951  Deniece Williams soul singer born Denise Chandler, Gary, Ind., USA. Deniece Williams grew up singing in a Pentecostal church, which was strict on the congregation listening only to gospel music. During the late '60s, she was a candy striper in a Chicago hospital.  Her mother, also a singer, was her idol.  Her cousin arranged for Williams to meet Stevie Wonder backstage at a concert. Six months later, the gifted vocalist was flown into Detroit by Wonder for an audition. Among the 26 who auditioned, Williams, who sang "Teach Me Tonight," was only one of three who was hired by Wonder. The three became known as Wonderlove. In 1977 the album Song Bird was released. The following year the dynamic singer scored her first number one song on both the R&B and pop charts with "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late," which was a duet with the legendary Johnny Mathis. Always writing from her own experience, Williams wrote the Top Ten single "Do What You Feel" based on the ordeals of someone else. (A believer in the song at the time, she no longer employs those beliefs.) In 1984 Williams recorded the number one hit "Let's Hear It for the Boy." Featured on the Footloose soundtrack, the single was produced by music virtuoso George Duke. In 1984 the sensational singer recorded "Black Butterfly." From a African-American perspective, Williams immediately bonded with the song. The song would become a prelude to the uplifting gospel material Williams would record a few years later. (mn-cl)
1957  New Jersey trio The Isley Brothers released their first single, the doo-wop influenced The Angles Cried on the Teenage label. It was not a hit and they were unable to place a single on the chart until they signed with RCA in 1959. (mn-jt)
1988  Jim Brewer, Chicago street singer, dies, Chicago, Ill, USA. Jim Brewer (October 03, 1920 - June 03, 1988), also known as "Blind Jim Brewer", though he did not like this additive ("My mother didn’t name me ‘Blind’, she named me ‘Jim’".) Blues singer and guitarist (real name James Brewer), born in Brookhaven, Mississippi, moved to Chicago in the 1940s spending the latter part of his life performing both blues and religious songs at blues and folk festivals, on Chicago’s Maxwell Street and other venues.  (mn-rs)
1994  Cricketer Brian Lara scores 501 not out against Durham for Warwickshire, the highest ever innings 3-6.06.94.
2006   The 100th anniversary of Josephine Baker's birth will be marked in Europe and the United States. The singer, dancer and entertainer was the first artist of African origin to attain fame in Europe and the world. She wasn't just an entertainer but also a political artist who fought for peace, and against racism and anti-Semitism. During the historic Black march on Washington in 1963, she stood side by side with the Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr Anette von Wagenheim, the Cologne-based filmmaker and journalist who directed the TV documentary Josephine Baker: Black Diva in a White World, writes exclusively for The African Courier on the life and times of Josephine Baker - a woman she aptly describes as the world's first Black superstar. (mn)
2009 Koko Taylor dies. b. Cora Walton, 28th September 1928, Nr. Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A. d. 3rd June 2009, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. 'Queen of the Blues', Koko Taylor has died. She was 80 years old. Koko passed away as a result of complications, following and operation performed to correct a gastrointestinal bleed. She had worked with The Blues Machine, B.B. King, Johnnie Johnson, Keb' Mo', Kenny Wayne Shepher and Willie Dixon in her career. Koko was born Cora Walton on a sharecropper’s farm just outside Memphis, Tennessee, in 1928. She was nicknamed Koko relating to her love of chocolate. She began singing the blues with her five brothers and sisters, accompanying themselves on their homemade instruments. In 1952, Koko and her husband (in later years), the late Robert 'Pops' Taylor, traveled to Chicago, where Robert worked in a packing company and Koko cleaned houses. By 1962, Koko was approached by arranger/composer Willie Dixon. Koko then siggned to Chess Records where Willie produced her several singles, two albums and penned her 1965 hit 'Wang Dang Doodle', which would become Taylor’s signature song. Koko then relocated to Chicago’s Alligator Records in 1975 and released the Grammy-nominated release 'I Got What It Takes'. She also appeared in the films 'Wild At Heart', 'Mercury Rising' and 'Blues Brothers 2000'. Koko was honoured, for her services to the Blues genre many times. Her final performance was on the 7th of May 2009 in Memphis at the Blues Music Awards. It was there she received her award for Traditional Blues Female Artist Of The Year. Koko is survived by her husband Hays Harris, daughter Joyce Threatt, son-in-law Lee Threatt, grandchildren Lee, Jr. and Wendy, and three great-grandchildren. (soulwalking)
2012 Andy Raphael Thomas Hamilton MBE dies. B. 26 March 1918 was a Jamaican-born British jazz saxophonist and composer. Hamilton was born in Port Maria, Jamaica, and learnt to play saxophone on a bamboo instrument. he formed his first band in 1928 with friends who played oil drums and Hamilton a bamboo sax, influenced by American musicians such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie and by the Kingston-based bands of Redver Cook and Roy Coburn. He spent some time in the U.S., working as a cook and farm labourer, but also having short jazz residencies in Buffalo and Syracuse, New York. After returning to Jamaica, he worked as musical arranger for Errol Flynn at his hotel The Titchfield, and on his yacht the Zaka. Hamilton emigrated to the UK in 1949, living and working in Birmingham. His day job was in a factory, while at night he played jazz — with his own group, the Blue Notes formed with fellow Jamaican pianist Sam Brown in 1953. Playing mainly local gigs and functions Hamilton also promoted regular gigs across the city booking an early Steel Pulse and numerous Jamaican bands at The Tower Ballroom, St Johns Restaurant, Accafess, Porsche Club, Junction, Hyatt before establishing regular weekly venue in Bearwood inviting visiting musicians such as Joe Newman, Al Casey, Teddy Edwards Art Farmer Harry Sweets Edison, and David Murray, his weekly gigs continue to this day on Thursday nights at Bearwood Corks His sons Graeme and Mark play trumpet and saxophone respectively. Having recovered from a diabetic coma in 1986, in 1991 at the age of seventy-three, Hamilton made his ever recording with Nick Gold Silvershine on World Circuit Records; it became the biggest selling UK Jazz Album of the Year, The Times Jazz Album of the Year, and one of the 50 Sony Recordings of the Year. It was followed two years later by Jamaica at Night. These recordings led to concerts in St Lucia, Jamaica, Cape Town, Madrid, WOMAD, Paris, Jazz Cafe, Ronnie Scotts and national tours. He continues to play regularly at the Bearwood Corks Club in Birmingham, and monthly at Birmingham Symphony Hall. His 90th birthday concert was at a long sold out Birmingham Town Hall featured Courtney Pine, Sonny Bradshaw, Myrna Hague, Lekan Babalola, Nana Tsiboe, son Mark and The Notebenders, a community music project he set up. In 1996 Hamilton was awarded an Honorary Master of Arts degree by Birmingham University, in 1999 he received a Millennium Fellowship for his work in Community Education (which has involved the establishment of The Ladywood Community School of Music. He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours.On 30 January 2008 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Birmingham Conservatoire during a ceremony at Symphony Hall. He continued to play, teach and promote music as he approaches his 94th birthday. He passed away peacefully on the 3rd June 2012. (mn-wiki-cam)2016 
2016 Muhammad Ali, boxer dies. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., January 17, 1942. The world champion boxer lost his title when he was drafted in the the army and refused to fight. He was given a 10 year prison sentence and $10,000 fine and had his world title removed, the prison sentence was later dropped. In the mid 80's he opened the Muhammad Ali Centre in Handsworh and was a regular visitor to Birmingham UK. He developed Parkinson's disease in the late 80's and was in permanent poor health after. He changed his name and faith to black Muslim in the 1960's and and later changed to Sunni Muslim. He was a personal friend to Malcolm X & Martin Luther King Jr. (mn)

JUNE 4th.

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  013: PETER SALEM 1750-1816 
1945  Leroy Hutson singer/songwriter/producer born in Newark, New Jersey, USA. Through sharing a room with Donny Hathaway at Howard University in Washington D.C., Leroy met Curtis Mayfield. He and Donny wrote 'The Ghetto' before Leroy replaced Curtis as lead singer in the Impressions in 1970. Hudson began his solo career on Mayfield's Curtom Records label in 1973, and through to 1980 established himself with a moderately successful recording career, recording seven albums and charting with some 13 singles in the USA. On most of his work, he wrote, produced, arranged and played multiple instruments, but Hutson never made a truly top-notch album. His most successful singles were "All Because Of You" (1975), "Feel The Spirit" (1976), "I Do I Do" (1976), "Where Did Love Go" (1978), and "Right Or Wrong" (1979). When Curtom went out of business in 1980, Hutson's career was essentially behind him and he soon disappeared from the music world.  (mn-music.us)
1962  El Debarge, singer born. He was lead singer of the family group Debarge, before Berry Gordy (via Motown) signed him as a solo artiste in 1986. El DeBarge became the lead singer of the family vocal group DeBarge from their formation in 1978. He was featured on all the group's hits between 1982 and 1985, when he elected to pursue a solo career, leaving DeBarge the following year. His eponymous debut album was an attractive mixture of pop and soul, fashioned in the style of Michael Jackson, on whom DeBarge modelled his career. He achieved a US number 1 black music hit in 1986 with "Who's Johnny?", the theme song of the movie Short Circuit, and re-emerged after a two-year pause in his career with the single "Real Love" in 1989, which was soon followed by Gemini.  He was also the lead vocalist on 'Secret Garden' for Quincy Jones in 1989.  (mn-jt-rt)
1967  Bill Cosby receives Emmy Award for 'I Spy'. One of the best known, most challenging - and highest paid - entertainers in the world, Cosby was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, USA.
1968  Ian Kenneth Taylor, 6'1", 12.4 footballer born in Birmingham, England. Club Honours: AMC '93; FLC '96. Sheffield Wednesday paid  £1,000,000 for him on 12/7/96; Aston Villa paid £1,000,000 on  21/12/94. (bh-mn)
1972  Angela Davis acquitted of murder, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy charge. An album by Larry Saunders helped to raise funds for her case 'Free Angela'. A radical philosopher, she has contributed to increasing political and civil rights for American citizens. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, she received her A.B. degree from Brandeis and her Masters from the University of California at San Diego. (mn)
2007  Freddie Scott soul singer dies. Durning his career he recorded the songs 'Hey, Girl', 'Are You Lonely For Me?' and 'What Do I See In The Girl'. Freddie Scott was born on the 24th April 1933, in Providence, Rhode Island, and was a member of the groups Sally Jones & The Gospel Keyes and The Swanee Quintet Juniors, during his lifetime. As a teenager, although he performed with the Sally Jones group, he pursued a career in medicine, working on his Ph.D. at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia. Whilst studying medicine, Freddie joined the Swanee Quintet Juniors, whose debut he sang lead vocals on their song 'Far Away Places.' Freddie abandoned his medical aspirations and looked towards a return to the performing arts. In 1956 he signed to Zell Sanders' J&S label releasing his debut solo single, 'Running Home.' In late 1956 he was called up for military duty, briefly serving in Korea. Returning to recording he joined the Bow and Arrow label and recorded 1957's 'Tell Them for Me.' followed by 'Please Call' and 'A Faded Memory.' Freddie completed his military service, and recorded for the Enrica label for 1959's 'Come On, Honey.' He then collaborated with Helen Miller to compose for Al Nevins and Don Kirshner's Brill Building company Aldon Music. In 1961, Freddie recorded 'Baby, You're a Long Time Dead' for the Joy label. The following year he was approached by Aldon songwriters Gerry Goffin and Carole King who wanted some help with their song 'Hey Girl.' Freddie recorded the song for the Colpix Records imprint making the Top Ten on both the pop and R&B charts. Freddie then relocated to Columbia, and recorded 'One Heartache Too Many' in 1965, before relocating to the Shout imprint, where he remained for two years. He recorded for the Elephant V, ABC's Probe imprint before signing to Vanguard in 1971. Freddie was now making much of his living writing advertising jingles with his long time colleague Helen Miller. Freddie also moved into acting, appearing in the films 'Stiletto' and 'No Way Out.' He maintained a live performance schedule into the 1980's, returning to music recording a version of Van Morrison's 'Brown Eyed Girl' for an Evangeline Records tribute album. In 2001 he released 'Brand New Man', his first new material in almost a quarter of a century. (soulwalking) 
2012 Herb Reed dies. b. Herbert Reed, 7th August 1928, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A. d. 4th June 2012, Boston, Massachussetts, U.S.A. Herb Reed, the bass singer from the group, the Platters, has died. He was 83. Herb was the last surviving original member of the 1950s vocal group, whose hits included 'Only You' and 'The Great Pretender'. He was the founding member of the group and gave them their name, a name based around the local deejays description of the vinyl record being a 'platter'. Herb sang bass on all of the Platters hit records. He died of complications relating to several ailments, including heart disease, at a hospice in Boston. (soulwalking) 

5th. JUNE      

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  014: OLIVER CROMWELL 1753-1853
 Liberating Day-Republic of Seychelles
1894  Black Invention: Cotton Chopper, George W. Murray. (sc)
1926  Floyd Butler, singer with Friends of Distinction is born. The group based in Los Angeles were popular on the late 60'/early 70's American soul scene with songs like Grazing In The Grass and I Really Hope You Do. Their musical director was Billy Osborne, bother of Jeffrey Osborne. (mn-jt-rt)
1946  Freddy Stone, member of soul band Sly & Family Stone born. Sly & the Family Stone harnessed all of the disparate musical and social trends of the late '60s, creating a wild, brilliant fusion of soul, rock, R&B, psychedelia, and funk that broke boundaries down without a second thought. Led by Sly Stone, the Family Stone was comprised of men and women, and blacks and whites, making the band the first fully integrated group in rock's history. That integration shone through the music, as well as the group's message. (mn-jt)
1950  Ronnie Dyson soul singer born in Washington, USA.  Dyson played a leading roll in the Broadway production of 'Hair' Washington, D.C. "(If You Let Me Make Love to You Then) Why Can't I Touch You" was both Top Ten R&B and pop in 1970, and "I Don't Wanna Cry" was also Top Ten R&B that same year. Dyson kept recording for Columbia until 1978, scoring one more hit in 1976 with a very different type of song, "The More You Do It (The More I Like It Done to Me)," a marked departure from the vulnerable, anguished numbers that had characterized his approach in the past. He moved to Cotillion in the '80s, but didn't have much success there. Dyson also was in the film Putney Swope. His final recording was "See the Clown" in 1990. He died  10/11/90 of a heart attack. (mn-rw)
1973  Doris A. Davis of Compton, California, becomes the first African American woman to govern a city in a major metropolitan area. (tr-iokts)
1974  Sly Stone Plights Troth at Madison Square Garden. Sylvester 'Sly Stone' Stewart married Kathy Sila on stage of New York's Madison Square Garden before a performance by the group he led, Sly and The Family Stone. At the end of October, Silva filed for divorce, and in 1976, Stone filed for bankruptcy. (mn-jt)
2012 Lou Pride dies. Funeral services will be held June 13, in Waukegan for Lou Pride, a majestic vocalist who sang with the playful grit of Clarence Carter and the curling, jazzy sway of Bobby Bland. Pride, who lived in Waukegan, died June 5 of natural causes while in hospice care in Chicago. He’d lived 68 years.  Pride wrote his own ballads, such as “I Had a Talk With My Baby,” and a hard Memphis groove dictated his “Bringin’ Me Back Home,” from which snippets were used in the 2007 Morgan Freeman film “Feast of Love.” He'll be remembered in the UK for his Northern Soul smash from 1970 "I'm Com'un Home in The Morn'un" . Pride is survived by daughters Kala Pride, Monique Pride and Robyn Horten; a son, Don Pride; a brother, Jerry Pride; and a sister, Diane Pride. He was preceded in death by another son, George Pride Jr., and brothers Curtis Pride, Robert Pride, Jimmy Pride and Kenny Pride.  (Dave Hoekstra/Nold)
6th. JUNE
BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  015: BENJAMIN BENNEKER 1731-1806
1930  Dillard University chartered in New Orleans, La.
1936  Levi Stubbs, lead singer with The Four Tops is born. The quartet's line-up has not changed since their formation in 1954; they are therefore one of the longest lasting line-ups in the world wide history of the entertainment business. The Tops were founded in Detroit, initially calling themselves the Four Aims. There break-through came when Berry Gordy signed them to Motown in 1964. (mn-bmcd)
1939  Gary 'U.S.' Bonds, singer born. After moving to the Norfolk, VA, area in the mid-'50s, young Gary Anderson began plying his vocal wares, first in church, later with a local group called the Turks. When he was not yet 21, he was approached by local record producer Frank Guida to join his tiny Legrand label. Guida changed Anderson's name to U.S. Bonds, hoping the first release would get extra airplay by disc jockeys mistaking it for a public-service announcement. The result was the classic "New Orleans," combining rock-combo raunch with impassioned, scorched soul-singing that set the stage for all that would follow. Guida double- and triple-tracked Bonds' voice and the resulting murky production gave all the hits (including "Quarter to Three," "School Is Out," and "Dear Lady Twist") a party-in-outer-space quality all their own. Though he kept recording, making a couple of excellent solo albums in the early '80s with the help of Bruce Springsteen, Bonds is best seen today dotting the landscape of oldies shows the world over, singing the songs that made him famous. (mn-jt-ck)
1939  Marian Wright Edelman, first African American woman to be admitted to the Mississippi bar and founder of the Children's Defence Fund, is born.Marian Wright Edelman (born June 6, 1939) is the American president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund. Her thinking was influenced by her father, Arthur Wright, a Baptist preacher who taught that Christianity required service in this world and by A. Philip Randolph. A graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, Edelman worked for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Poor People's March on Washington, and on a variety of other civil rights and public interest causes before founding the Children's Defense Fund in 1973. She was the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar. Edelman is a recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award, the highest adult award given by the Boy Scouts of America. Edelman received a LL.D. from Bates College in 1986. In an interview with Shelly R. Fredman on AlterNet, Howard Zinn suggests she would make a better Democratic Presidential Candidate than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.  (tr-iokts-wickpedia)
1944  The D-Day invasion in Normandy, France is assisted by 320th Negro Anti-Aircraft Barrage Balloon Battalion.
1939  Richard 'Popcorn' Wylie, singer/pianist/producer, born, Detroit. Wlylie was a Detroit producer who had dome some work for Motown (Funky Rubber Band), when he came to Stax records to produce the Dramatics hits 'Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get' and 'In The Rain', rocketing the group to world wide aclaim. He is much loved on the Northern soul scene for his 'Rosemary what Happened' recording. Popcorn made a two-hour programme for PCRL at his home with Bill Randle in 1999.  (mn-br)
1961  Dee C. Lee, U.K. soul singer born Diane Sealey was a backing vocalist for the pop group Wham! in the early 1980s, but she soon left the group to join Paul Weller's new band, The Style Council. Diane later married Paul Weller and they have two children, Natalie and Leah. The Style Council were never as commercially successful as Paul Weller's earlier band The Jam had been in the U.K. They were shunned by critics, and they never had a number-one hit, although they did have several top-ten hits in the U.K. Lee can be heard on the tracks "It Didn't Matter", "Walls Come Tumbling Down", and "Shout to the Top", all of which have accompanying videos. She also sang in the groups Animal Nightlife and Slam Slam, and collaborated with Gang Starr front man Guru on a single called "No Time to Play". Lee originally released "See the Day" (subsequently covered by Girls Aloud), a song written for Paul Weller, in 1985, which reached number three on the U.K. singles chart. An album consisting of rare Lee songs is now available. She has a bit part in the film Rabbit Fever, a sex comedy. More recently appeared with D-Influence ' D-Vas' album in 2002. Other ref: say's born 1964) (mn-wickpedia)
1962  Mark Bright, football player born in London, England. Played for Sheffield  Wednesday and Crystal Palace. (tr)
1991  [Stan Getz, jazz saxophonist dies. One of the all-time great tenor saxophonists, Stan Getz was known as "The Sound" because he had one of the most beautiful tones ever heard. Getz, whose main early influence was Lester Young, grew to be a major influence himself and to his credit he never stopped evolving. Getz had the opportunity to play in a variety of major swing big bands while a teenager due to the World War II draft. He was with Jack Teagarden (1943) when he was just 16 and this was followed by stints with Stan Kenton (1944-1945), Jimmy Dorsey (1945), and Benny Goodman (1945-1946); he soloed on a few records with BG. Getz, who had his recording debut as a leader in July 1946 with four titles, became famous during his period with Woody Herman's Second Herd (1947-1949), soloing (along with Zoot Sims, Herbie Steward, and Serge Chaloff) on the original version of "Four Brothers" and having his sound well-featured on the ballad "Early Autumn." After leaving Herman, Getz was (with the exception of some tours with Jazz at the Philharmonic) a leader for the rest of his life.  (mn-jt-sy)]
2006 Billy Preston, soul singer dies after his kidney failed. The exuberant keyboardist who landed dream gigs with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and enjoyed his own series of hit singles, including "Outta Space" and "Nothing From Nothing," died  at 59. Preston's longtime manager, Joyce Moore, said Preston had been in a coma since November in a care facility and was taken to a hospital in Scottsdale Saturday after his condition deteriorated. "He had a very, very beautiful last few hours and a really beautiful passing," Moore said by telephone from Germany. "He went home good." Preston, who had battled chronic kidney failure, had undergone a kidney transplant in 2002, but the kidney failed and he has been on dialysis treatments ever since, Moore said earlier this year. Known for his big smile and towering afro, Preston was a teen prodigy on the piano and organ, and lent his gospel-tinged touch to classics such as the Beatles' "Get Back" and the Stones' "Can't You Hear Me Knocking?" He broke out as a solo artist in the 1970s, winning a best instrumental Grammy in 1973 for "Outta Space," and scoring other hits with "Will It Go 'Round In Circles," "Nothing From Nothing" and "With You I'm Born Again," a duet with Syreeta Wright.  (mn-apress))
2007 Kim Tolliver soul singer dies from Alzheimer's Disease in Cleevland, Ohio, USA. Born Dorothy 'Kim' Tolliver  21st June 1937, Lebanon, Tennessee. Remebered for 'I don't know what foot to dance on' in 1975. (soulwalking)
2010 Marvin Isley bass player with the Isley Brothers & Jasper/Isley/Jasper dies. Diabeties caused him  to have his legs aputated in 1997 and also his death today. (mn)

7th. JUNE     

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  016: JEAN DE SAPLE 1745-1818
1692  Earthquake destroys Port Royal in Jamaica. (mn-cb)
1892  Black Invention: Clothes Dryer, George T. Sampson. (sc)
1887  Black Invention: Relay-Instrument, Granville T. Woods. (sc)
1917  Gwendolyn Brooks, famous poet, born in Topeka, Ks. The first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize, she received her A.B. from Wilson Junior College in Chicago in 1936 and went on to teach around the Chicago area. A prolific poet and writer, in 1950 she won the Pulitzer Prize for her verse narrative Annie Allen. In 1968 she was named poet laureate of Illinois, and in 1990 Chicago State University establised the Gwendolyn Brooks Chair in Black Literature and Creative writing in her honor. (mn-ss)
1943  Nikki Giovanni, poet/activist born in Knoxville, Tenn, USA. Much of her poetry deals with intensely personal themes; draws on jazz and blues for her rhythms, this makes her readings impressive. (tr-iokts)
1945  Billy Butler, soul singer with the Enchanters, born. The younger brother of Jerry Butler, Billy Butler wasn't nearly as well known as his sibling, but recorded some fine Chicago soul in the '60s. Recording for OKeh under producer Carl Davis, Butler's mid-'60s singles were quite similar to labelmates Major Lance's and (less obviously) Curtis Mayfield's as stellar examples of the finest features of the Chicago soul sound. Similar to Motown in its full, brassy production, the Chicago brand was earthier, with stronger tinges of gospel, doo wop, and Latin influences. Nor was Butler terribly similar to his brother, Jerry, with a punchier, more up-tempo sound. With backing group the Enchanters, Billy recorded consistently fine singles for OKeh from 1963 to 1966, scoring R&B hits with "I Can't Work No Longer" (1965) and "Right Track" (1966). Butler left OKeh after 1966 and recorded for a variety of labels, denting the R&B charts with the singles "Get on the Chase" (1969) and "Free Yourself" (1971). A songwriter of note, he contributed material to fellow Chicago soul greats Major Lance, Gene Chandler, and his brother, Jerry.  (mn-ru)
1950  Fred Locks, reggae singer, born Stafford Elliott today in Kingston, Jamaica. Started recording as a member of the Lyrics for Coxone Dodd, songs like 'A Get It, Girls Like Dirt, and 'Hear what the old man say'. He then emersed himself in the Rasta faith. Most popular songs: Black Star Liners, True Rasta Man and Sing-a-long. (tr-rt)
1953  [Jonathan (Johnny) Clegg], born June 7, 1953 in Rochdale (near Manchester), Lancashire, (UK), is a popular musician from South Africa, who has recorded and performed with his bands Juluka and Savuka. Sometimes called "The White Zulu", he is an important figure in South African popular music history, with songs that mix Zulu and English lyrics, and African / European / Celtic music styles. (wikipedia)
1958  Prince Roger Nelson, singer is born in Minneapolis. Few artists have created a body of work as rich and varied as Prince. During the '80s, he emerged as one of the most singular talents of the rock & roll era, capable of seamlessly tying together pop, funk, folk, and rock. Not only did he release a series of groundbreaking albums, he toured frequently, produced albums and wrote songs for many other artists, and recorded hundreds of songs that still lie unreleased in his vaults. With each album he has released, Prince has shown remarkable stylistic growth and musical diversity,  Known as symbol for a while to obstruct a recording deal, his first No.1 hit was 'The Most Beautiful Girl in the World' in 1994. Many followed for him and for the people he produced. (mn-ste)
2008 Bill Coday dies aged 66 in Methodist University Hospital, Memphis. Born in Coldwater Miss, in 1942, moved to Chicago in 1963, later discovered by Denise LaSelle who owned the Crajon label. (mn)

8th. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  017: PRINCE HALL 1735-1807
1952  The U.S. Supreme Court bans segregation of restaurants in Washington, D.C., USA. (tr-iokts)
1982  Leroy Satchel Paige, great basketball pitcher, dies. Enduring, lanky, charismatic, Paige had erned more than $30,000 a year during the 1930's, an amount that reflected his value to his Negroe League teams, since it was more than most major league players were paid. He was also elected to the Hall Of Fame in 1971. (mn-ss)
1966  Doris May Pearson, singer with Five Star, born. The UK male/female group's first success came in May, 1985 when All Fall Down reached No.15 in the UK charts, followed by Let Me Be The One in July reaching No.18. (also see tomorrow's page headline from 1990) (mn-jt)
1977 Kanye West, rapper/producer born in Atlanta, Georgia, to an award-winning photojournalist father and an English-teaching mother, Kanye West realized his destiny at an early age. As a child, the future "college dropout" was a gifted visual artist who, above all, had an affinity for poetry. With these natural talents, it was only a matter of time before Kanye's talents crossed paths with his appreciation for hip-hop music. (wickpedia)
1997  American Census Bureau reveals the black population in US has risen over 4 million since '90 when it was 33.9 million.(mn-voice7/7)
1997  Driver pulled up 34 times sues police. Read the headline in the Sunday Observer newspaper. PCRL's Cee Jay has now made the Sunday nationals. It's a story about being a squeaky clean metro driver with not even a parking ticket to his name, but the police find it fit to 'stopped-and-search' him over 34 times in 3 years. He says my only crime is being Black! (mn-cj)
2007  Nellie Lutcher singer dies aged 94. b. 15th October 1915, Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S.A. d. 8th June 2007, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Nellie was a singer and pianist who was popular in the late 1940's and early 1950's. She was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana to Isaac and Suzie Lutcher. Her father was a bass player and she learned to play piano. She was the eldest daughter of 15 children. Her brother was the saxophonist Joe Woodman Lutcher. Initially, Lutcher played in a big band with her bass-playing father before moving on to join the Clarence Hart band. She played clubs on the west coast during the late 30's / early 40's and signed to Capitol Records in 1947 following an appearance on a 'March Of Dimes' charity show. Her first release, the R & B-styled 'Hurry On Down', became a US Top 20 hit that same year and was followed by 'He's A Real Gone Guy', 'The Song Is Ended' and 'Fine Brown Frame'. The latter was a cover version of an earlier hit by bandleader Buddy Johnson. Nellie left Capitol in 1952. She later moved on to Decca, Epic and Liberty Records, recording a highly rated album, 'Our New Nellie'. However, her popularity had faded, and during the late 60's and early 70's she took a staff job with the Hollywood Local Branch of the Musicians' Union, still occasionally playing clubs and, also, raising her son. Nellie continued to perform occasionally until the 1990's, enjoying a resurgance of popularity at the Hollywood Roosevelt Cinegrill and Michael's Pub in New York. The Bear Family record company in Germany later issued a box set containing her entire body of work. (soulwalking)

9th. JUNE       

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  018: PAUL CUFF 1759-1817 
1877  Meta Vaux Fuller, a leading sculptor, is born in Philadelphia, USA.
1904  James C. Napier organizes first bank begun by blacks in Tennessee.
1929  Johnny Ace, singer/piano player, born John Marshall Alexander Jnr. on this day in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. He shot himself playing Russian Roulette backstage on Christmas Eve in 1954 in Houston, becoming the first casualty of the Rock 'n' Roll Era. His first record My song topped the US R&B charts in 1952, the first of several hits, Pleading My Love was No.1 in 1955. Dies 25/12/54. (mn-dc)
1934  Jackie Wilson soul singer born in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Jackie Wilson was one of the most important agents of black pop's transition from R&B into soul. In terms of vocal power (especially in the upper register), few could outdo him; he was also an electrifying on-stage showman. He was a consistent hitmaker from the mid-'50s through the early '70s, although never a crossover superstar. His reputation isn't quite on par with Ray Charles, James Brown, or Sam Cooke, however, because his records did not always reflect his artistic genius. Indeed, there is a consensus of sorts among critics that Wilson was something of an underachiever in the studio, due to the sometimes inappropriately pop-based material and arrangements that he used. Unknown to the public he was also a womanizer and not that popular with his contemporary's. In September 1975 Wilson suffers a near fatal heart attack on stage and lies in a comma for 9 years! He nearly made a recovery but was not helped because of the legal battles going on at the time. Life support turned off 21/1/84. (mn)
1953  Errol Kennedy, drummer/percussionist with Imagination born. Imagination was a trio from the U.K. that put a synthesized and often clubby spin on soul groups from the ‘70s. In fact, a couple of ‘70s groups have direct ties to Imagination; Lee John and Ashley Ingram spent time during that decade playing supportive roles in the Delfonics and Chairmen of the Board, prior to Imagination's formation. Along with drummer Errol Kennedy, vocalist John and bassist Ingram formed the group in 1981. By the end of that year, they already had their first album released and a minor hit in the form of that album's title track, "Body Talk." The group's second album, 1982's In the Heat of the Night, was their most successful, spawning a trio of U.S. R&B chart hits in the form of "Just an Illusion" (#27), "Magic and Lights" (#52), and "Changes" (#46).  The group's success fizzled until their mid ‘90s breakup (at the time, Leee John was the only remaining original member), though 1984's "This Means War" was able to put a dent in the U.S. R&B chart. John remained active in the entertainment industry, hosting U.K. television programs and continuing his recording career as a solo artist and collaborator.  (mn-jt-ak)
1959  Mathis' Greatest Jumps to The Top. The new album at the top of the US charts was Johnny's Greatest Hits by Johnny Mathis, which set a record ten years later as the album that had spent most weeks in the Billboard long player listings.
1983  Ragtime composer Scott Joplin is depicted in the U.S. Postal Service's African American Heritage USA series of stamps. (tr-iokts)
1990  Family Hitmakers Hit Trouble. The Sunningdale mansion owned by the Pearson family, the five children of which were the hit group Five Star, was repossessed by bailiffs after non-payment of the mortgage on the property. With 20 UK hit singles to their credit including six Top 10 hits in the previous five years, plus chart topping album, Silk & Steel (1986), many found this plight hard to credit. (mn-jt)
2005 Hard times for Zimbabwe's new homeless. BBC News: Some were made to knock down their own homes. The UN says some 200, 000 Zimbabweans have been made homeless in a two-week police operation to demolish houses and markets, which the authorities say are illegal. The opposition says it is punishment for areas which voted against President Robert Mugabe in elections but the government says the operation is needed to rid Zimbabwe's cities of criminal elements. (mn)
2007 Lewis Hamilton has claimed his first grand prix after leading from the front in an incident-packed race in Montreal. The 22-year-old black Briton started in pole at the Canadian grand prix and was in control of the race from start to finish. (mn)
2011 Don Juan Mancha dies in Detroit. He was the producer/writer behind many Northern soul classics such as 'Dearly Beloved' by Jack Montgomery & wrote some of Wilson Pickett early hits. Don made a 90 minute program for PCRL in 1997. (mn-br)

10th. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  019: JAMES FORTEN 1766-1842
1854  James Augustine Healy, first African American Catholic bishop in the US, is ordained a priest in Notre Dame Cathedral. (tr-iokts)
1902  Black Invention: G.T. Woods patents the automatic air brake.
1910  Howlin' Wolf, blues legend, born Chester Arthur Burnett, West Point, Miss, USA. He was born in West Point, MS, and named after the 21st President of the United States (Chester Arthur). His father was a farmer and Wolf took to it as well until his 18th birthday, when a chance meeting with Delta blues legend Charley Patton changed his life forever. Though he never came close to learning the subtleties of Patton's complex guitar technique, two of the major components of Wolf's style (Patton's inimitable growl of a voice and his propensity for entertaining) were learned first hand from the Delta blues master. (died January 10, 1976, Hines, Ill, USA. (mn-rs)
1940  Marcus Messiah Garvey, Pan-Africanise, dies after a second stroke in Kensington, England. On June 14, 1940 the corpse is embalmed and  interred n St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Kensal Green, London. In 1964 his body was exhumed and taken to Jamaica for hero's honour. Buried in King George VI Memorial Park with church and state honours. Statue marks tomb. Declared Jamaica's First National Hero. (mn-tr)
1941  Shirley Alston, born Shirley Owens, singer with The Shirelles. The Shirelles were the first major female vocal group of the rock era, defining the so-called girl group sound with their soft, sweet harmonies and yearning innocence. Their music was a blend of pop/rock and R&B — especially doo wop and smooth uptown soul — that appealed to listeners across the board, before Motown ever became a crossover phenomenon with white audiences. (mn-jt-sh)
1949  Perry Kibble, soul singer with Taste Of Honey is born. The group's first single, "Boogie Oogie Oogie," was inspired by an unresponsive audience during a date at a military base; Johnson believed the crowd was chauvinistic toward the group's two female guitar players. The notorious bass solo intro came about when Johnson was warming up before the recording session, unaware that she was being recorded. The single sold more than two million copies and topped Billboard's charts for three weeks in fall 1978. The follow-up single, the slinky and funky "Do It Good," went to number 13 R&B and number 79 pop, and A Taste of Honey went platinum.  (mn-jt)
1962  Maxi Priest, reggae artist born, Max Elliot in Lewisham, London, England. Christened the "King of Lovers Rock" by his fans, British reggae star Maxi Priest was one of the most internationally popular reggae singers since Bob Marley. Priest's pop and modern R&B influences didn't exactly endear him to reggae purists, but they gave him a strong crossover appeal that paid off in the trans-Atlantic chart-topper "Close to You." At times he strayed too far from his reggae roots to deliver a true stylistic hybrid, but his silky-smooth voice was ideally suited for light, romantic material, and his best music was as sensual as it was soulful. He was the eighth of nine children, born to parents who had emigrated from Jamaica several years before his birth. His mother was active in the Pentecostal church, and the family grew up singing gospel music together; Maxi would later convert to Rastafarianism, upon which point he changed his name to Maxi Priest. He was working as a carpenter when he was invited to build speaker boxes for the prominent Saxon International sound system.  (mn-cl)
1967  David Robinson, human beatbox rapper with Fat Boys is born. One of early rap's most successful acts, the Fat Boys parlayed a combined weight of over 750 pounds into a comic novelty act that sustained them through several albums and hit singles. Originally known as the Disco 3, Brooklynites Mark "Prince Markie Dee" Morales, Damon "Kool Rock-Ski" Wimbley, and Darren "Buff the Human Beat Box" Robinson won a talent contest at Radio City Music Hall in 1983, thanks in part to Robinson's talent for using his mouth to improvise hip-hop rhythms and a variety of sound effects. The trio changed their name and recorded a series of good-time party anthems and songs humorously exploiting their weight; their first few records were produced by Kurtis Blow and feature fusions of hip-hop with reggae and rock. The Fat Boys hit their commercial peak with 1987's platinum LP Crushin', a collection of entertaining party tunes that included a hit collaboration with the Beach Boys, "Wipeout." The group took the opportunity to star in the comedy film Disorderlies that year. Coming Back Hard Again essentially repeated the formula of Crushin'; the cover this time was "The Twist (Yo' Twist)," which featured backing from Chubby Checker. However, audience tastes were changing, and the Fat Boys' gimmicky novelty act was quickly becoming passé. The group tried to expand their artistic and street credibility with the ill-advised "rap opera" On and On, which promptly stiffed and prefaced the group's breakup. Prince Markie Dee recorded a solo album in 1992 and went on to a successful R&B songwriting/producing career. Robinson died of a heart attack in December 1995.  (mn-jt)
1982  Adie Harris, singer with The Shirelles dies. The Shirelles were the first major female vocal group of the rock era, defining the so-called girl group sound with their soft, sweet harmonies and yearning innocence. Their music was a blend of pop/rock and R&B — especially doo wop and smooth uptown soul — that appealed to listeners across the board, before Motown ever became a crossover phenomenon with white audiences.  (mn-jt)
1991  David Ruffin (ex-Temptation) was buried. Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder sang in the congregation and the bill for the funeral was paid by Michael Jackson. (he had died: 1/6/91 suspiciously)
1998  Driver wins appeal. Read the headline in the Birmingham Evening mail. Cee Jay who had a squeaky Clean diving licence until November 24, 1997 when he was convicted for failing to stop and give his name and address. Had now had this conviction squashed after a successful appeal against it. He's squeaky clean again! (mn-cj)
2006  Kevin Phelps dies. Many appeals were launched to help him incuding PCRL-Web site. Three donor sessions were held to find a match for Kevin Phelps. A former British karate champion awaiting a bone marrow transplant to treat his myeloid leukaemia has died. Kevin Phelps, 38, a computer engineer from Aston in Birmingham, was being treated at Sandwell General Hospital on Saturday when he died. More than 1,000 black people came forward in three donor sessions in the attempt to find a match for Mr Phelps. The appeal for donors widened from Birmingham to Coventry in March as time passed without success. Mr Phelps was diagnosed in October 2005 and had undergone three bouts of chemotherapy in the space of five months. Despite the large turnout for the donor sessions, only around 15,000 registered bone marrow donors are of African, African Caribbean or Mixed Parentage descent. Robert Spigel, from the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust, renewed his appeal for more members of the different communities to register as potential donors. Mr Spigel said: "It's difficult for black and other ethnic minority patients to find a match because of the huge variety of tissue types. "That's why we always urge many black and ethnic minority people aged 18-40 to come and join the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust register - either for people like Kevin or the many thousands of other patients who do need a bone marrow transplant." (mn-bbc)2016 
2016 Muhammad Ali's funeral took place in Memphis. Services began in Louisville on Thursday, June 9 with an Islamic Janazah prayer service at Freedom Hall on the grounds of the Kentucky Exposition Center. A funeral procession went through the streets of Louisville on Friday, June 10, ending at Cave Hill Cemetery, where a private interment ceremony will occur. A public memorial service for Ali at downtown Louisville's KFC Yum! Center was held in the afternoon of June 10 also. (mn)

11th. JUNE 
Tony Roots - PCRL presenter's birthday
BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  020: DENMARK VESEY 1767-1822
1912  Black Invention: Player Piano, Joseph H. Dickinson. (sc)
1920  Hazel Dorothy Scott, pianist/singer who put "swing in European classical music", born in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Though she didn't call it third stream, and it wasn't associated with the genre, Hazel Scott was another musician who found a successful way to blend jazz and classical influences. Scott took classical selections and improvised on them, a practice dating back to the ragtime era. Such numbers as "Hungarian Rhapsody, no. 2" (Liszt) backed by "Valse in D Flat Major, op. 64 no. 1" (Chopin) were audience favorites, even if some critics suggested they smacked of gimmickry (which sometimes they did). Scott was also a good bebop soloist, nice ballad interpreter, fair blues player, and underrated vocalist. Her nightclub act was often more appealing than her albums, where the absence of mitigating circumstances like an audience and club setting resulted in her compositions getting more scrutiny than they could stand. Scott studied classical piano at Juilliard from the age of eight, while also playing jazz in clubs. She became an attraction at downtown and uptown branches of Cafe Society in the late '30s and early '40s. Scott had her own radio show in 1936, appeared on Broadway in 1938, and was in five films during the '40s, among them Rhapsody in Blue. She wrote such songs as "Love Comes Softly" and "Nightmare Blues." Scott later had her own television show and was married to Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Their highly visible, high-profile relationship degenerated under the heat of a nationwide obsession with Powell's activities, influence, and behavior, finally ending in divorce. Scott recorded for Decca, Signature, Tioch, and Columbia, but made her finest jazz album for Charles Mingus' Debut label, Relaxed Piano Moods, in 1955. Mingus and Max Roach joined Scott on this session. It's her only date currently available on CD.
1934  James 'Pookie' Hudson, singer with the Spaniels is born. The Spaniels are best known for their massive 1954 hit, "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight" (number five R&B). They were the first successful Midwestern R&B group, coming from Gary, IN, by way of Chicago. Lead vocalist James "Pookie" Hudson was a graceful lead singer who influenced many who came after him, most notably Aaron Neville. They were also one of the first (if not the first) R&B groups to perform with the lead singer on one microphone and the rest of the group sharing another.  (mn-jt)
1947  Glenn Leonard, singer with Temptations, is born. After Damen Harris exited in 1975 he was replaced by tenor Glenn Leonard, the group cut 1976's The Temptations Do the Temptations, their final album for Motown. With Louis Price taking over for Dennis Edwards, they signed to Atlantic, and attempted to reach the disco market with the LPs Bare Back and Hear to Tempt You. Over the years the group has had over 20 members! (mn-jt)
1947  Eric Donaldson, reggae artist Eric Donaldson was born in Kent Village, Jamaica, and launched his music career in 1964 when he recorded some tracks for Studio One in Kingston, which have remained unreleased. Shortly thereafter, Donaldson formed the vocal outfit the West Indians along with Leslie Burke and Hector Brooks. The group hooked up with producer J.J. Johnson, who helped guide the group to a hit in 1968, "Right on Time," before recording for Lee Perry a year later; they changed their name to the Killowatts shortly thereafter. But the name change failed to ignite the group's career and they eventually split up after such obscure releases as Slot Machine and Real Cool Operator. Donaldson decided to continue to pursue music on his own, which led to him submitting an original composition, "Cherry Oh Baby," to the Festival Song Competition in 1971. The song took the top spot at the competition, eventually being issued as single and becoming a local hit. The song would reach a wider audience when it was covered by rock artists, including the Rolling Stones (on their 1976 Black and Blue release) and UB40 (1983's Labour of Love). Donaldson continued to issue albums. Donaldson runs the Cherry Oh Baby Go-Go Bar in his hometown of Kent Village.  (mn-cl-gp)
1960  Tony Roots (PCRL DJ) born. "I have been a DJ since 1974 while still at school so i guess you could call me a veterian. I have played at many many gigs over those years you can emagine the amount. Bacically i am an all rounder when it comes to entaining the crowd. You have to know what tune to select and when to select a perticular tune. My specialist field in music is Reggae Music, roots music, hence my name Tony Roots. This name was choosen to reflect the music i wanted to be primiliary associated with as a DJ. I have also been a musician playing with a reggage outfit i formed along with my friends back in the mid eaighties, the band was called "General Information". We toured the country and did a memorable gig in Frankfut Germany which will stay in my memory forever.  Check out for my radio shows on New Style Radio 98.7fm. Lock on at www.newstyleradio.co.uk, Mondays 10am - 12pm (myspace.com/djtonyroots)
1968  Black Invention: Antenna Feed for Two Coordinating Tracking Radars James E. Lewis. (sc)   
1977/88 A Good Day for the Marley's. In 1977, Exodus by Bob Marley &  Wailers entered the UK album chart, eventually becoming the group's first Top 10 LP. A decade later, the group fronted by Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers, scored their first UK hit song with Tomorrow's People. Sadly Ziggy's father was unable to see his son's triumph, as Bob had died of cancer in 1981. (mn-jt)
1988  Nelson Mandela Birthday Bash. Jerry Dammers, leader of The Specials (or The Special AKA, as they were known at various points in their career), was the prime mover behind a concert at London's Wembley Stadium staged to celebrate the 70th birthday of African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, who had been imprisoned in South Africa since 1962. (mn-jt)
2005 Jennifer Lara, reggae singer dies aged 52 in a Kingston Public Hospital after she suffered a brain haemorrhage. Best rememberd for 'Concider Me', which was recorded on Delroy Wilson's 'I Don't Know Why' riddim. (mn- echoes)

12th. JUNE  

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  021: DAVID WALKER 1785-1830
1930  Barbara Harris, first female bishop in Episcopal church, is born in Philadelphia, Pa, USA. (tr-iokts)
1944  Maurice Jackson of the soul group the Independents born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Among the more interesting male/female vocal groups, the Independents made some outstanding singles in the early '70s. Chuck Jackson, Maurice Jackson, Helen Curry, and Eric Thomas specialized in almost melodramatic, overwrought, but perfectly performed love songs. Their first single for Wand, "Just as Long as You Need Me," set the stage in 1972, reaching number eight on the R&B charts. They topped those charts in 1973 with "Leaving Me," while "Baby I've Been Missing You" made it to number four. They never had any song attract much pop support, but soul fans loved the lyrical scenarios and group interplay. Their last hit was "Let This Be a Lesson to You" in 1974, another R&B Top Ten hit. Jackson and Yancy went on to attain success as a production/songwriting team, scoring hits with Ronnie Dyson and Natalie Cole.  (mn-cl-rw)
1948  Lyn Collins, soul singer with James Brown Review is born. For the first half of the 70's JB projected her as the female preacher. She also sang background for him and he secured her a solo deal with the People label (via Polydor), and wrote and produced her 1972 release 'Think (about it).' This song was much revived on the UK rare groove scene in the mid-80's where it was sampled and eventually re-released. (some ref-books say 12/7/48) Dies in hospital after choking while eating a meal 2005. (mn-jt)
1963  Medgar Evers, civil rights leader slain in Jackson, Ms, USA. His alleged murderer, a white racist named Byron de la Beckwith, went free after two juries in the 1960's could not agree a decision, but Beckwith was tried again and convicted in 1994. (born 1925) (mn-tr-bl)
1964  Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment after conviction for "sabotaging" the South African government.
1967  Thurgood Marshall is the first African American appointed to the United States Supreme Court by President Johnson. (tr-bl)
1972  Bounty Killer, reggae artiste, born Rodney Price, Reverton City, Jamaica, West Indies. Bounty Killer was one of the most aggressive dancehall stars of the '90s, a street-tough rude boy with an unrepentant flair for gun talk. There were many other facets to his music — condemnations of corrupt authority, collaborations with hardcore hip-hop artists, tributes to his mother, an ongoing DJ rivalry with Beenie Man — but his main persona was so dominant that many fans instantly associated him with his more violent material. (mn-cl)

13th. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  022: NAT TURNER 1800-1831
1893  Black Invention: Mop patented by Thomas W. Stewart. (sc)
1937  Eleanor Nolmes Norton born, the first woman to chair the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (tr-bl)
1942  James Carr singer born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. One of the greatest pure vocalists that deep Southern soul ever produced, James Carr is often mentioned in the same breath as Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, and Aretha Franklin in terms of the wrenching emotional power in his delivery. Or at least he is by hardcore soul aficionados; despite producing several classic R&B singles and some of the most intense country-soul ever waxed, Carr never achieved the pop crossover success that could have made him a household name, and his material wasn't always as distinctive as that of Stax artists. (d.7/1/01 cancer)(mn)
1957  Fly Ty, co-producer of the first rap radio show, co-founder of Cold Chillin' Records, worth $25 million in 1986, from Brooklyn, USA, real name Tyrone Williams is born. (mn-ms)
1968  Deniece Lisa Maria Pearson, singer with Five Star is born. This family quintet from Britain featured lead vocalist Deniece, plus Stedman, Doris, Lorraine, and Delroy Pearson. Their RCA debut single, "All Fall Down," reached 16 on the R&B charts, while "Let Me Be The One" started a string of Top 10 hits. It was their biggest, reaching number two; "Love Take Over" and "Can't Wait Another Minute" were the others. They also landed "If I Say Yes" and "Are You Man Enough" in the Top 20. The released a comeback LP in 1994, and continued recording into the new millennium. (mn-jt)
1972  Clyde Mc Phatter original singer with the Drifters dies in New York after a heart attack brought on by alcohol abuse. For three years he was the lead singer in the seminal R&B group, Billy Ward & His Dominoes. He left in 1953 to form the Drifters, whose early releases were enhanced by the singer's emotional, gospel drenched delivery. In 1954 Mc Phatter was drafted into the US army, where he entertained fellow servicemen. Such work prompted a solo career. (mn-jt-cl)
1980  Dr. Walter Rodney, political leader of Guyana, killed.
2000  Ankovia and Tuggstar make their first programme on PCRL it's an edutainment/talk format b/w 8-10 on a Tuesday night. (mn)
2005 Michael Jackson Not Guilty. A jury in a Saint Maria court, California found Jackson not guilty of 10 charges, that included child molestation and under-age drinking. (mn)
2006  Freddie Gorman, singer with The Originals, songwriter and producer: born Detroit 11 April 1939; married (one son); died Palmdale. Freddie Gorman of the Originals - the group often described as Motown's best kept secret - has died aged 67. He also issued several solo singles showcasing his deep, mellow voice, and co-wrote many songs, including 'Please Mr Postman'. (br)

14th. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  023: WILLIAM STILL 1821-1902
1927  Black Invention: Process of producing Paints and Stains, George Washington Carver. During World War II he also found over 500 shades of dye to replace aniline dies imported from Germany. He discovered a 100 products from a sweet potato. (hear BHPAP 53)(sc-ra)
1931  Junior Walker, saxophonist/singer with Jr. Walker & The All-Stars born Autry DeWalt II on this day (even though Motown gave his birth date as 1942), in Blytheville, AR. (Some accounts list his birth name as Oscar G. Mixon, which was then changed at some point during his early childhood.) In early 1965, they scored their first big hit with the dance tune "Shotgun," which marked Walker's vocal debut; in fact, the only reason he sang the song was that the vocalist he'd hired didn't show up for the session, and he was somewhat flabbergasted by the label's decision to leave his vocal intact. A steady stream of mostly instrumental R&B chart hits followed, including "Do the Boomerang," "Shake and Fingerpop," and "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" (Walker was, naturally, encouraged to record instrumental versions of Motown hits). Walker toured all his life but Unfortunately, in 1993 his activities were severely curtailed by cancer, which claimed his life on November 23, 1995. In the wake of his death, Billy "Stix" Nicks continued to tour with a version of the All-Stars. (interview from 1972 in Nold achieve) (mn-cl)
1951 Paul Yaw Boateng born. He is a British Labour Party politician. He became the UK's first black Cabinet minister in May 2002 when he was appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Brent South from 1987 to 2005, and is the current British High Commissioner to South Africa. (nationmaster)
1959  Marcus Miller, Jazz/R&B bassist, born, Brooklyn, NY., USA. Primarily a bassist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Marcus Miller has worked on hundreds of sessions — crossing jazz, R&B, and rock — and has released several solo recordings since his late '70s beginnings with Bobbi Humphrey and Lonnie Liston Smith. Despite the many hats he has worn — improviser, interpreter, arranger, songwriter, film-music composer, bassist, clarinetist, saxophonist — none of them have been put on for the sake of the whim. Never one to merely get his feet wet, Miller has been a utility player in the most extreme and prolific sense.  (mn-ed)
1962  Hugh Mundell, reggae artiste born, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. With the tragic murder of Hugh Mundell, who was shot and killed while sitting in a car with Junior Reid, in 1983, reggae lost one of its most promising young performers. Mundell's 1975 debut album, Africa Must Be Free By 1983, produced by Augustus Pablo, remains a classic roots reggae recording. In a review of the album, www.reggaeexpress.com wrote, "(undell's) singing style and soothing voice will lull you into tranquility if you let it." Mundell was still a teenager when he teamed with influential producer Joe Gibbs to record a still-unreleased single, "'Where Is Natty Dread." His first break came when he was hired as a DJ for Augustus Pablo's Rockers sound system. His debut single, "Africa Must Be Free," was released in early 1975. Mundell also recorded several 12" singles as Jah Levi. Beginning in 1979, Mundell took over the production of his own recordings. He also produced the debut album, Speak the Truth, by "Little" Junior Reid, on Pablo's label, Rocker. A dub version of Africa Must Be Free By 1983 was released in 1989. (ch)
1970  Chris Dickerson, body builder, becomes the first black Mr. America.
1989  Congressman William Gray is elected Democratic whip of the House of Representatives, the highest leadership position in Congress held thus far by an African American. Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he studied at Drew Theological Seminary. He preached in New Jersey and in Philadelphia (1964-1978). As a Congressman from Philadelphia (1979-1991), Gray seved as Chairman of the House Budget Committee (1985-1989) and then as a Democratic whip (1989-1991), and then he retired from Congress to become the president of the United Negro College Fund. (mm-ss-tr-iokts)
1998  Jamaica's football team the Reggae Boyz play Croatia in Jamaica's first World Cup game ever! - they lost 3-1. (mn)

15th. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  024: HARRIET TUBMAN 1826?-1913
1330  The Black Prince is born to Philippa, daughter to William of Hainault, a Lord in part of what is now Belgium. She was the Black wife and Queen to King Edward the III. Giving rise to African blood in British royal ancestry. (read: King George III, John Brooke and Black Presence in the UK). (mn-bb7)
1877  Henry O. Flipper becomes the first black to graduate from West Point.
1897  Black Invention: Train Alarm, Richard A. Butler. (sc)
1944  Eddie Hinton, guitarist, born Edward Craig Hinton in Jacksonville, Florida, USA. His reputation is built mainly around his session work with the Muscle Shoals house band, playing for Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Otis Reading, Elvis Presley, Percy Sledge, Joe Tex and many more between 1967-71. Dies July 28, 1985. (mn-cl)
1968  Wes Montgomery, jazz guitarist dies. Born March 6, 1923, John Leslie Montgomery. He was inspired as a child to take up the guitar after hearing records by Charlie Christian. Nearly 20 years old at the time, he taught himself to play by adapting what he heard on records to what he could accomplish himself. Developing a quite method of playing that would not disturb his neighbours, using the soft part of the thumb instead of a plectrum or the fingers. (mn-cl) kid.  (mn-jf)
1969  Ice Cube, angry young gangsta rapper from South Central L.A., USA, real name O'Shea Jackson, his mother named him O'Shea after O.J. Simpson; his brother named him Ice Cube because he was a cool.
1988  PCRL presents a cheque for £1500 to Birmingham Children's Hospital. Photograph appears in local press. Pictured PCRL staff presenting cheque to Birmingham Children Hospital.  Six men and three women standing outside a building , presenting a cheque. Notes on back of photograph; ''Rt to left: Auntie Bubbles, Chicken George, Jacko (behind), Crazy G, Dr. Mike Pendergrass, Lady Dee, George Franklyn, Calypso Rose''   (mn)
1997  Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York: Tom Molineaux (1784-1821) and non-participant Don King. (mn-ring)

16th. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  025: SOJOURNER TRUTH 1797-1883
1941  Lamont Dozier soul singer/writer/producer born in Detroit, USA. Schooled in the blossoming vocal group scene of the late 50's, Lamont Dozier sang alongside several Motown notables in the Romeos and the Voice Masters during 1957-58. He befriended local songwriter and producer Berry Gordy around this time, and was one of Gordy's first signing's when he launched the Motown label at the end of the decade. He was persuaded to join a production team with Brian Holland and his brother Eddie (Holland/Dozier/Holland). There team work never seamed to fail to achieve hits for Motown. (mn)
1942  Eddie Levert singer with the O'Jays born on this day. Eddie Levert sang lead on classic million-selling hits by Philly soul group the O'Jays. They were a part of the artist roster of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff's Philadelphia International Records. Levert could handle both emotion-soaked ballads, sweat-inducing dance numbers, and thought-provoking message songs with equal aplomb. The singer also co-wrote songs for the O'Jays and others. More recently he has had many fine solo albums. (mn)
1958  Patrick Waite, singer with reggae band Musical Youth born. The success that was predicted for teenaged ska and reggae band Musical Youth when their pro-marijuana single "Pass the Dutchie" sold more than four million copies in 1982 failed to come to fruition. Within three years, the band, who featured vocalist Dennis Seaton, keyboardist Michael Grant, and the Waite brothers — Patrick, who played bass and Freddie Junior, who played drums — had gone their separate ways.  (mn-jt)
1964  Chris Bart Williams, football player born in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Played for Sheffield Wednesday and Leyton Orient. (tr)
1970  Kenneth Gibson is the first African American to be elected mayor of an eastern city (Newark, N.J., USA) (tr-iokts)
1971  2 Pac, urban rebel rapper, from Bronx; Baltimore; Oakland, USA, real name Tupac Amaru Shakur, born today. The son of two Black Panther member, 2Pac became the unlikely martyr of gangsta rap, and a tragic symbol of the toll its lifestyle exacted on urban black America. At the outset of his career, it didn't appear that he would emerge as one of the definitive rappers of the '90s — he started out as a second-string rapper and dancer for Digital Underground, joining only after they had already landed their biggest hit. Unfortunately, the gangsta lifestyle he captured in his music soon overtook his own life. While his celebrity was at its peak, he publicly fought with his rival, the Notorious B.I.G., and there were tensions brewing at Death Row. Even with such conflicts, however, 2Pac's drive-by shooting in September 1996 came as an unexpected shock. On September 13, six days after the shooting, 2Pac passed away, leaving behind a legacy that was based as much on his lifestyle as it was his music.  (mn-ms)
1976  Anniversary of Soweto student riots in South Africa. 700 school children killed and 4,000 injured. Black students in Soweto protested against the Afrikaans Medium Decree of 1974 which forced all black students to learn the Afrikaans language and to be taught secondary school mathematics, social sciences, geography and history in the language. Punt Janson, the Deputy Minister of Bantu Education at the time, was quoted as saying: "I have not consulted the African people on the language issue and I'm not going to. An African might find that 'the big boss' only spoke Afrikaans or only spoke English. It would be to his advantage to know both languages."' The decree was resented deeply by blacks as Afrikaans was widely viewed, in the words of Desmond Tutu, then Dean of Johannesburg as "the language of the oppressor". The resentment grew until April 30, 1976, when children at Orlando West Junior School in Soweto went on strike, refusing to go to school. Their rebellion then spread to many other schools in Soweto. The students organised a mass rally for June 16, 1976 to hopefully make themselves heard by the Bantu Education System. In a BBC/SABC documentary broadcast for the first time on June 15 2006, surviving leaders of the uprising described how they planned in secret for the demonstration, surprising their teachers and families (and the apartheid police) with the power and strength of the demonstration. (drum/wickpedia)

17th. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  026: FREDRICK DOUGLAS 1817-1895
1849  Thomas Ezekiel Miller, congressman born in USA. (tr-iokts)
1871  James Weldon Johnson, writer of Lift Every Voice (1900), born in Jacksonville, Florida, USA. Not only a novelist but also a poet, NAACP official and diplomat, Johnson left a lasting impression on the cultural and social life of the Negro in America. The poem Lift Every Voice and Sing when set to music became an anthem during the early forties. His strikingly dramatic poem God's Trombones (1927) may still be heard recited from stages in high schools and colleges in the South. In 1916 he joined the NAACP and many years was it's secretary. Among his many achievements their were: sparking the drive behind the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill in 1921; leading the fight against the lily-white primary which made it iligal for Negroes to be denied participation in southern primary elections. (hear BHPAP 131)
1775  American War of Independence began with the Battle of Bunker Hill. (hear GNPAP Peter Salem: 013). (mn)
1991  The apartheid system in South Africa officially came to an end with the repeal of the Population Registration Act of 1950. (mn-tx)
1998  The chief of police publicly apologises to the family of the racist murder case victim Stephen Lawrence over their incompetence. (mn)
2005 New Archbishop of York appointed. BBC News: The Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Rev John Sentamu, has become the Church of England's first black archbishop. The Ugandan-born cleric takes over as Archbishop of York from Dr David Hope who quit in February to become a parish priest in Ilkley, West Yorkshire. Bishop Sentamu said his appointment to the second-highest post in the Church of England was "an exciting prospect". He added that the Church needed to regain its vision and confidence and be ready to take risks. At a news conference, Bishop Sentamu said he looked forward to working with the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams to spread the Christian message. "It is imperative that the Church regains her vision and confidence in mission, developing ways that will enable the Church of England to reconnect imaginatively with England." Asked if this meant the Church had lost its way in recent years, he responded: "We just need to reconnect, we just need to revitalise ourselves, we just need a fresh vision." Dr Williams welcomed the news and praised the bishop's efforts to combat racism. Bishop Sentamu worked on inquiries into the 1993 racist killing of Stephen Lawrence and the stabbing of Nigerian schoolboy Damilola Taylor in 2000. (mn)
2007  Lewis Hamilton a Black British racer wins his 2nd Grand Prix in a row in the USA. (mn)
2007 Elias Blake Jr., dies. A leading advocate for blacks in higher education and a former president of Atlanta's Clark College. Emerging as a national leader on education issues, he advised both President Nixon and President Carter on the needs of blacks in higher education.  In search of ways to motivate disadvantaged high school students, Blake in the 1960s helped create Upward Bound, the federal program aimed at recruiting low-income and first-generation college students. He became the program's Southeast deputy director, guiding its efforts on 15 campuses. (mn- a-press)
2012 Rodney King, whose videotaped 1991 beating by Los Angeles police officers led to riots, was found dead on Sunday morning local time, sources told TMZ. He was 47. King's fiancee reportedly found him dead at the bottom of a swimming pool. On March 3, 1991, King was beaten by Los Angeles Police Department officers after a high-speed car chase, an infamous case of police brutality that was captured on camera by a bystander and broadcast around the world. Four officers were tried for the assault but were acquitted, a decision that sparked the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Two of the officers were later found guilty of civil rights violations in a federal court and jailed. The other two officers were again acquitted. (mn-herold-sun)

18th. JUNE 

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  027: JAMES BECKWOURTH 1797-1867
1889  Black Invention: Child's Carriage, William H. Richardson. (sc)
1953  Egypt becomes a republic, after forced abdication of King Farouk I.
1935  Tommy Hunt soul singer with three UK hits between '75 -'76 and popular with Northern Soul fans, born on this day in Pittsburgh, Pa, USA. Tommy Hunt's recording career began at age 20, when he cut singles with his first group, the Five Echoes, in 1953. It was five years later, however, that he made his greatest mark on popular music, rock & roll, and R&B, as a member of the Flamingos from 1958 thru 1961. Those years coincided with the group's being signed to End Records, and the release of their biggest, most identifiable hit, "I Only Have Eyes For You" — Hunt's dramatic background singing, coupled with the restrained piano backing , made it one of the transcendant documents of '50s R&B. He can also be seen singing lead in a killer jump-blues performance in the juke-box movie classic Go, Johnny, Go, as the group (back to a five-piece) mimes to their End recording of "Jump Children." Hunt left the Flamingos in 1962 and signed as a solo artist with Florence Greenberg's Scepter Records in New York. Greenberg reportedly wasn't impressed with Hunt as a singer or an individual, but Luther Dixon, the company's chief of A&R and general music director, loved Hunt's voice, providing him with "Human," which became a No. 5 R&B hit in late 1961. Hunt continued with the label for another three years, until 1964, cutting a complete album (I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself) in late 1962. In late 1963, following the departure of Dixon from Scepter, Ed Townsend became the company's music director, and one of his very first productions was Tommy Hunt's recording of Townsend's "I Am a Witness," which featured Bernard Purdie on drums and Mickey Baker on guitar, with Hunt's vocals backed up by the Shirelles, Dee Dee Warwick, and the Sweet Inspirations. The single was Hunt's last chart entry for the label, reaching No. 71. Hunt left Scepter in 1964, and later moved to the Dynamo label, for which he charted a single in 1967. He later moved to Europe, and continues to perform in Germany and other Central European countries in the 1990's. (mn-allmusic)
1966  Samuel Nabrit is the first African American scientist to serve on the Atomic Energy Commission. (tr-iokts)
1997  Uncle Sam Travel Ltd. closes it's doors after 27 years of chartered flights to Jamaica from England. (mn)
1997  Devon Russell reggae vocalist dies at 6:45 pm on this day of cancer. Part of Devon & Lloyd who had success with Red Bum Ball and Conquering Ruler on the Hop label. Devon Russell's birthplace and date are as much a mystery as the gaping holes in his recording career. The sweet swinging reggae man began with the Tartans, a mid-'60s rock steady vocal group comprised of Russell, Prince Lincoln Thompson, Linbergh "Preps" Lewis, and Cedric Myton; they disbanded after their 1967 hit "Dance All Night" (Federal Records).He soloed from then on, interrupted only by a short stint as Cultural Roots' lead singer, with whom he waxed Money, Sex and Violence for Runn Records. His first solo album Bible and Gun was produced by Coxson Dodd for Sweet Music Records in 1982, the title track hit in Jamaica. House of Reggae Records treated music fans with Darker Than Blue in 1996, a poignant tribute to Curtis Mayfield that's destined to be Devon's most successful album. Most of Russell's accomplishments are uncredited and undocumented. He succumbed to a brain tumor June 18, 1997 a year after the release of Darker Than Blue. His Tartans' bud Prince Lincoln Thompson, aka "Soxs" ("Saxs" in Jamaica) expired the beginning of 1999 shortly after being diagnosed with lung cancer.   (mn-echos-sb/pd-tr)
2007   Richard 'Kush' Griffith died. (trumpet player - worked with James Brown, Bootsy's Rubber Band, The Brides of Funkenstein, Maceo And All The King's Men, Parliament, Funkadelic and The Horny Horns) (b. 8th August 1948, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.) (soulwalking)
2009 Mary Seacole memorial announced. The design for a memorial statue dedicated to the nurse and Crimean War heroine Mary Seacole has been chosen. Artist Martin Jennings created the winning sculpture, which will stand in the grounds of St Thomas' Hospital in central London.  The Jamaican-born nurse was voted the greatest Black Briton of all time in a poll in 2004. The statue is expected to be erected at its London location by the end of 2010 or early 2011.  The Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal was set up to create a permanent reminder of the 19th Century nurse. In 1854, she approached the War Office asking to be sent as an army nurse to the Crimea where there were known to be poor medical facilities for wounded soldiers. She was refused but funded her own trip to the Crimea where she established the British Hotel near Balaclava to provide comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers. The Jamaican-born woman was voted the greatest black Briton of all time. She also visited the battlefield, sometimes under fire, to nurse the wounded, and became known as "Mother Seacole".  Baroness Amos, the chair of the Mary Seacole Memorial Artist Selection Panel, said she richly deserved to be recognised. "People in - not just the black community, but in ethnic minority communities generally - will feel very pleased because it's like a real recognition of the contribution that we have made to Britain's history.  "Britain's history has been diverse for generations and we need to recognise and understand that." Miss Seacole, who rivalled Florence Nightingale for her feats in the Crimean War, was the daughter of a Scottish soldier and Jamaican mother. Mr Jennings said: "She'll be facing Big Ben and marching towards the river - a wind, as it were, coming off the river - representing in some ways perhaps the wind of the resistance that she had to push against constantly in order to achieve what she wanted to achieve with her vocation.  "This is a wonderful location."  (bbc)

19th. JUNE 

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  028: ALEXANDER CRUMMELL 1819-1898
1865 Juneteenth, is considered the date when the last slaves in America were freed. Although the rumors of freedom were widespread prior to this, actual emancipation in Texas did not come until Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston and issued General Order No. 3 on June 19, almost 2 1/2 years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Several states, including Texas, now recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday. (detroit free press)
1893  News of the Emancipation Proclamation reaches the South and Texas through Gen. Gordon Granger. (tr-iokts)
1926  Oprey Colour Blind. The first black musician appeared on Nashville's Grand Ole Opry show when De Ford Bailey, a harmonica player, made his debut. Forty years later, the most successful black country performer ever, Charley Pride, achieved a similar feat. (mn-jt)
1939  Al Wilson, soul singer is born in Meridian, Mississippi, USA.  Best remembered for the soul classic "Show and Tell," . From childhood forward he was singing professionally, and by the age of 12 was leading his own spiritual quartet and singing in the church choir, even performing covers of country and western hits as circumstances dictated. While he was in high school, Wilson and his family relocated to San Bernadino, California, where he worked odd jobs as a mail carrier, a janitor, and an office clerk, in addition to teaching himself to play drums; after graduation he spent four years touring with Johnny Harris and the Statesmen before joining the U.S. Navy and singing with an enlisted men's chorus. After a two-year military stint, Wilson settled in Los Angeles, touring the local nightclub circuit before joining the R&B vocal group the Jewels; from there he landed with the Rollers, followed by a stint with the instrumental combo the Souls. In 1966, Wilson signed with manager Marc Gordon, who quickly scored his client an a cappella audition for Johnny Rivers — the "Secret Agent Man" singer not only signed Wilson to his Soul City imprint, but also agreed to produce the sessions that yielded the 1968 R&B smash "The Snake." The minor hit "Do What You Gotta Do" appeared that same year, but Wilson then largely disappeared from sight until 1973, when he issued the platinum-selling Weighing In — the album's success was spurred by the shimmering "Show and Tell," a Johnny Mathis castoff that sold well over a million copies. (mn-jt)
1948  Bini Brown born, Pan-Africanist, member of The African Self Help Organisation, formed in 1964 better known as 104 Heathfield Road, Birmingham. Bini has been involved with helping the youth of Handworth over many years. A strong supporter of PCRL and other local radio over the years and through fund raising has helped both PCRL and the Community in many ways. (tr-ct)
1953  Larry Dunn, with soul group Earth Wind and Fire is born. Earth, Wind & Fire were one of the most musically accomplished, critically acclaimed, and commercially popular funk bands of the '70s. Conceived by drummer, bandleader, songwriter, kalimba player, and occasional vocalist Maurice White, EWF's all-encompassing musical vision used funk as its foundation, but also incorporated jazz, smooth soul, gospel, pop, rock & roll, psychedelia, blues, folk, African music, and, later on, disco.  (mn-jt)
1959  Mark De Barge, soul band member with Debarge. Groomed to be the heirs to the Jackson 5 throne in the early '80s, DeBarge mirrored the Jacksons early success with a string of hits, but were unable to sustain their winning streak. Originally formed in 1978 and hailing from Grand Rapids, MI, the quintet was comprised of four brothers (Eldra, Mark, James, and Randy) and one sister (Bunny).  (mn-jt)
1960  Dennis Fuller, soul singer with The London Boys is born. (mn-jt)
1962  Bill Russell, basketball player for Boston Celtics, named Player of the Year.
1970  D-Nice, street beat, friendly rhymes rapper from Harlem, Bronx, USA, real name Derrick Jones is born. D-Nice became Boogie Down Productions' DJ after the death of Scott LaRock (the man who discovered him), prior to group's second album, By All Means Necessary. However, his first production was actually "Self Destruction," the single released by the Stop the Violence Movement; the project, put together by KRS-One and the DJ, featured Big Daddy Kane, Doug E. Fresh, and MC Lyte. Born Derrick Jones, D-Nice left BDP in 1990, after the Edutainment album, to go solo. Call Me D-Nice, released in 1990 on Jive, featured a pair of Billboard rap-chart hits in "Call Me D-Nice" (number one) and "Crumbs off the Table" (number 17). Unlike KRS-One, his lyrical content was rarely politically charged, but "Glory" took a look at the black man's role in the Civil War. The less-successful To tha Rescue followed the next year. After that, he took on occasional production duties for the likes of LeShaun, Nuttin' Nyce, and Hi-Five.  (mn-ms)
1995  A Richmond, Va., planning commission approves plans to place a memorial statue of tennis professional Arthur Ashe. (tr-iokts)
2006 Josephine Baker: The First Black... ...Superstar. Documentary about the iconic black entertainer who was a pioneer in every sense of the word and whose impact on the cultural history of the twentieth century was profound, broadcast on BBC2. (mn)
2006 Melvin H. Watson, who trained civil rights leaders, dies at 98. The Rev. Melvin H. Watson, who influenced Martin Luther King Jr. and helped train other civil rights leaders. Watson, who lived in Atlanta, died at Crawford Long Hospital, said Walter Earl Fluker of Atlanta, executive director of the Leadership Center at Morehouse College and Watson's son-in-law. As senior pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Atlanta and a religion professor at Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Religion and the Interdenominational Theological Center, Watson exerted a quiet influence for more than half a century. Many of his students became civil rights leaders. Former students include the Rev. Dr. Robert Michael Franklin Jr., presidential distinguished professor at Emory University's Candler School of Theology; the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr., pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, and the Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, pastor of the Abyssian Baptist Church in New York City. "He was one of the great teachers of his generation, and his teaching skills and mentoring capacity was as comprehensive outside the classroom as in the classroom," Moss said. When King was studying at Boston University and pastoring at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., he turned to Watson for advice, Fluker said. In a series of letters, Watson critiqued King's views of socialism and philosophy and recommended books to read, Fluker said. "In one letter, King is bragging about his new programs at Dexter and Watson writes back - I paraphrase - 'the abundance of activity is a smoke screen for effective ministry.' He counseled King to slow down and take care of his people," Fluker said. That philosophy characterized Watson's years at Liberty Baptist, said his daughter, Sharon Michelle Watson Fluker of Atlanta. "His sermons were thoughtful, reflective and solidly biblically based. He called for the listener to be an active thinker. He asked how the Word could be part of your life and your service to others."  (ap)

20th. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  029: ROBERT SMALLS 1839-1915
1858  Charle Waddell Chestnut, first African American writer in U.S. to receive critical literary acclaim, is born. (tr-iokts)
1894  Lloyd Augustus Hall is born in Elgin, Illinois, USA. Recognised for his work revolutionising the meat packing industry.
1901  Charlotte M. Manye of South Africa becomes the first native African to graduate from an American university.
1936  Billy Guy, soul singer with The Coasters is born. The group was formed in 1955 from remnants of the Robins. Lots of comic R&B hits in the late 50's produced by Leiber and Stoller. The group was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987. (mn-jt)
1949  Lionel Richie singer with the Commodores until he went solo in 1980, born on this day in Tuskegee, Alabama, USA. He grew up on the Tuskegee campus where he formed a succession of 60's R&B groups. In 1968 he became lead singer/saxophonist for the Commodores. They became America's most popular soul group of the 70's, with Richie writing many of there classic hits. (mn)
1960  Chris Gibson, of soul band The Gibson Brothers, is born in Martinique in the French West Indies and lived most of his life in Paris, France. In 1976 the group signed with the Zagora label, 7 top 100 hits followed over the next three years. (mn-jt)
1983  Walter Jackson, soul singer dies. Crippled by polio as a child, spent much of his life on crutches. This disability imbued his work with a greater pathos. 'It's All Over' was his first R&B hit in 1964, a Curtis Mayfield penned ballad. He died of a cerebral haemorrhage. (mn-bp)
1991  Little Willie Anderson, harmonica player, dies, Chicago, Ill. He built up his style and stage presence almost exclusively from that of his idol, Little Walter Jacobs. Anderson eventually ended up working for him when he toured Chicago clubs. (mn-rs) 1997  Lawrence Payton, singer and the founder member of the Four Tops dies at 3.00 a.m. this morning aged 59 from bone cancer. They first sang together at a party in Detroit in 1954. Calling themselves the Four Aims they began in supper clubs with a repertoire of jazz standards. In 1964 Berry Gordy signed them to his Jazz Workshop label, the label        soon folded but they had 18 Top 20 hits until they left for ABC-Dunhill in 1972. Later success was less forth-coming. (mn-cl)
2001  John Lee Hooker, the blues legend dies in his sleep. Born August 17, 1920 in, Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA. He was beloved worldwide as the king of the endless boogie, a genuine blues superstar whose droning, hypnotic one-chord grooves were at once both ultra-primitive and timeless. But John Lee Hooker recorded in a great many more styles than that over a career that stretched across more than half a century.   (mn-br)
2006  Claydes Charles Smith, (A.K.A. Claydes E.X. Smith) died, born 6th September 1948, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.A. died in Maplewood, New Jersey, U.S.A. After a long illness, Charles Smith of the group Kool and the Gang. He was 57.

21st. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  030: HIRAM REVELS 1822-1901
1859  Henry O. Tanner, renowned painter, born.
1932  O.C. Smith soul singer born Ocie Lee Smith Mansfield, Los Angeles, USA. O.C. Smith began as a jazz vocalist and later moved into country and R&B. The Louisiana vocalist was hired to replace Joe Williams in Count Basie's band in the early '60s after cutting some unsuccessful records for Cadence and others in the '50s. He sang with Basie's band from 1961 to 1963. Following a period where he sang country and even had a hit with "Son of Hickory Holler's Tramp," Smith moved into soul. His biggest hit was "Little Green Apples," which was number two on both the pop and R&B charts in 1968. His other big R&B single was "Daddy's Little Man," which reached number nine in 1969. Smith stayed on Columbia until 1974, but didn't score any more big records. He moved to Caribou in 1976 and recorded later for Shady Brooks, Family, Motown, and Rendezvous. In 1985 he began to balance his work in the recording studio with his new passion for Christian ministry, but despite the fact that he founded his own church in Los Angeles, The City of Angels Church of Religious Science, he continued to perform and record until the time of his death on November 23, 2001. (mn-allmusic)
1936  Clay Hammond, singer born in Roseback, Texas, USA. Hammond may be best remembered as the author of Little Johnny Taylor's huge soul hit, "Part Time Love." He was also a decent Sam Cooke-style soul singer in his own right, however, who recorded for various labels in the 1960s. His most well-known efforts from that time are the four singles he did for Kent between 1966-69. These mixed Southern soul, gospel, and blues styles, yet also had a somewhat lighter and poppier production aura than much Southern soul, perhaps because they were recorded in Los Angeles. All eight songs from these 45s, as well as eight others that were recorded but not released in the 1960s, appear on the Ace CD Southern Soul Brothers, which also includes ten tracks recorded for Kent around the same time by fellow soul vocalist Z.Z. Hill. Hammond recorded sporadic singles and albums for various labels after the 1960s, in addition to singing in the lineups of groups such as the Drifters and the Rivingtons on the oldies circuit.  (mn-cl-allmusic)
1941  Mitty Collier, soulstress born in Birmingham, Alabama, U.SA. Winning WGES DJ Al Benson's Talent Contest at the legendary Regal Theater for six weeks straight, she was offered a record contract by Ralph Bass of Chess Records in 1960. Her first charting single was an answer record to Little Johnny Taylor's "Part Time Love," a number one R&B smash in summer 1963. Collier's "I'm Your Part Time Love" b/w "Don't You Forget It" hit number 20 R&B in fall 1963. Her next hit became her signature song. Inspired in part by gospel great James Cleveland's "I Had a Talk With God Last Night" and produced by Chess staff producer Billy Davis, "I Had a Talk With My Man" b/w "Free Girl (In the Morning)" hit number three R&B on Cashbox Magazine's R&B chart in fall 1964. Another hit inspired by Cleveland ("No Cross No Crown"), "No Faith, No Love" b/w "Together," peaked at number 29 R&B in early 1965.  In 1969, Collier signed with Peachtree Records of Atlanta, GA and released the singles "True Love Never Comes Easy" and "You Hurt So Good" b/w "I Can't Lose." Her other releases are the single "Let Them Talk" and the U.K. CD Shades of Genius. In 1972, Collier left secular music and began singing gospel music. In the '90s, she was a minister at a church in Chicago.  (mn-cl-allmusic)

1990  Nelson Mandela Day took place in USA, with a concert staring Tracy Chapman, Judy Collins, Ritchie Havens and others. (mn-jt)
1995  The U.S. Senate votes against the nomination of Dr. Henry W. Foster in his bid for the post of surgeon general. (tr-iokts)
2000  DJ Chris Coxone broadcasts his first programme on PCRL it was 'Mix-up show' and went out b/w 10-12pm on a Wednesday evening. He's now found on New Style radio. (mn)20
2013 Mary Love, soul/gospel singer dies aged 69. (b. Mary Ann Varney, 27th July 1943, Sacramento, California, U.S.A.) (d. 21st June 2013, Sacramento, California, U.S.A.) The news was announced by Ace Records Ady Croasdel on his website. Ady has previously worked with the singer. Mary Love Comer was a singer, to coin a soccer term, had a career of two halves. Her Sixties output has become a regular dancefloor diet on the Northern Soul dancefloors. Her Eighties recordings comprise some of the finest Soul Gospel recordings of that era, most notably her evergreen track, 'Come Out Of The Sandbox'. Her Sixties sides included 'You Turn My Bitter Into Sweet', I've Got To Get You Back', Let Me Know', 'Lay This Burden Down', 'Baby I'll Come', 'Talking About My Man' and 'Is That you?', all of which are hugely popular amongst Northern fans. Throughout the Seventies, Mary's recording career went on hold, apart from a couple of single releases, however, the Eighties proved to be a more fertile musical era for her music. It was at this time she released, arguably, her finest moment 'Come Out Of The Sandbox', which arrived in the form of a Co Love 45, and later appeared on the album 'His Servant Am I', released upon her and her husband, Brad E. Comer's, label Co Love Records. In recent years, Mary concentrated on her work in the New Judah Christian Fellowship Church, with her husband Brad. (soulwalking)

22nd. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  031: BLANCHE BRUSE 1841-1897
1898  Black Invention: Postmarking & Cancelling Machine, William Barry.(sc)
1909  Katherine Dunham, Mother of Afro-American Dance, dancer, choreographer, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. She founded her own dance company in the 30's she was the dance director for the Works Progress Administration's Chicago Theatre Project. Her first commercial success was the musical Cabin in the Sky (1940), in which she had done all the choreography. (mn-ss)
1937  Joe Louis beats J. Braddock, he's World Heavyweight Boxing Champion.
1948  The former navel troop ship the SS Empire Windrush was the the first of many to arrive at Tilbury docks, Essex from Jamaica. At a cost of £28.10, bringing 492 Jamaicans to live in this country. By 1998 over 500,000 people from the Caribbean now live in Britain. (mn-ts)
1958  Ruby Turner, is born in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Ruby moved to England in 1967. Initially it was her thespian talents that brought her to prominence, as she appeared in numerous plays and musicals before joining the Crescent Theatre. However, discouraged by the lack of opportunities in her chosen career, she elected to concentrate on her singing. Debut single was Every Soul, but she's best remembered for I'd Rather Go Blind (1987). (mn-cl)
1963  Little Stevie Wonder Storms US Chart at 13.  
1995  Nigeria's former military ruler Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo and his chief deputy are charged with conspiracy to overthrow Gen .Sami Abacha's military government. (tr-iokts)
2006  Charlie Sifford a Golf legend to get degree honour. St Andrews University has a history honouring sports personalities. Charlie Sifford, the American golfer who defied racism to become an inspiration for a generation of young players, is to gain an honorary degree. Mr Sifford will be made a Doctor of Laws at St Andrews University on Thursday afternoon. He was the first African-American to challenge the US Professional Golf Association's Caucasian-only clause by joining the professional tour in 1960. The 84-year-old endured death threats and racial slurs during his career.  It is absolutely fitting that this man, his unique character, his dignity and his gift to golf should be honoured by St Andrews in St Andrews. Dr Brian Lang, principal and vice-chancellor of the St Andrews University, said Mr Sifford would be attending a graduation ceremony at Younger Hall beginning at 1430 BST. He said: "Charlie Sifford is a pioneer of the civil rights era whose career exemplifies courage, determination and the will to succeed in the face of substantial prejudice and adversity.  "He changed the landscape of sport and his story is one which should challenge and inspire us all. "It is absolutely fitting that this man, his unique character, his dignity and his gift to golf should be honoured by St Andrews in St Andrews. "We are delighted that he has accepted our offer of an honorary degree and will be with us at graduation." Charlie Sifford is described by Tiger Woods as his "honorary grandfather". He won the Hartford Open in 1967 and two years later took the Los Angeles Open. He played 422 events on the PGA tour and made 399 cuts. Although he was the top black player on tour in the 1960s, he was never invited to play in The Masters. (mn-bbc)

23rd. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  032: ROBERT B. ELLIOTT (1842-1884)
1899  Pvt. George Wanton is cited for bravery at Tayabacoa, Cuba, in the Spanish-American War. (tr-iokts)
1903  The Black-American show 'Dahomey' was being staged at the Shaftesbury Theatre. The company comprised one hundred members, with Bert Williams and George Walker in the principle parts. So successful was this break from the minstrel convention that members of the cast were invited to perform at a garden party held for the ninth birthday of the King's eldest grandson Edward (later Prince of Wales). (mn-sb)
1904  Willie Mae Ford Smith born. (tr-bl)
1940  Wilma Rudolph is born in Clarksville Tenn, USA. She becomes the first woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympiad (in Rome)
1943  Jimmy Caster, soul singer born, New York City, New York, USA. A master of novelty/disco funk, saxophonist Jimmy Castor started as a doo wop singer in New York. He wrote and recorded "I Promise to Remember" for Wing With the Juniors in 1956, a group whose roster included Al Casey, Jr., Orton Graves, and Johnny Williams. Castor replaced Frankie Lymon in the Teenagers in 1957 before switching to sax in 1960. The 60's he was in the Jimmy Castor Bunch, where the novelty hits came his way. (mn-cl-rw)
1944  Rosetta Hightower, singer with The Orlons is born. A predominantly female group from Philadelphia, the Orlons had some dance and novelty gems in the early '60s for Cameo-Parkway. Lead vocalist Rossetta Hightower, Marlena Davis, Steve Caldwell, and Shirley Brickley scored with "The Wah Watusi" in 1962; it was a number five R&B and number two pop hit, while the follow-ups, "Don't Hang Up" and "South Street," were also Top Ten R&B and pop successes. "Not Me" was their fourth consecutive R&B Top Ten winner in 1963, and it peaked at number 12 pop. It was also their last, although "Cross Fire!" reached number 19 on the pop charts. But their other singles fizzled, and Davis and Caldwell left in 1964, replaced by Audrey Brickley. When Hightower moved to England in 1968, the Orlons disbanded.   (mn-jt)
1948  Jamaicans Arrive to Seek Work. Read the headline in The Times Uk, the article said: 'Of the 492 Jamaicans who arrived at Tilbury on Monday to seek work in this country, 326 were housed last night in Clapham South deep Shelter. The remainder had friends to whom they could go with and prospects of work. The men had arrived at Tilbury in the ex-troopship Empire Windrush. Among them are singers, students,  pianists, boxers and a complete dance band. Thirty or forty have  already volunteered to work as minors'. (mn-ts)
1957  Lee John, member of UK soul band Imagination is born. Imagination was a trio from the U.K. that put a synthesized and often clubby spin on soul groups from the ‘70s. In fact, a couple of ‘70s groups have direct ties to Imagination; Lee John and Ashley Ingram spent time during that decade playing supportive roles in the Delfonics and Chairmen of the Board, prior to Imagination's formation. Along with drummer Errol Kennedy, vocalist John and bassist Ingram formed the group in 1981. By the end of that year, they already had their first album released and a minor hit in the form of that album's title track, "Body Talk." The group's second album, 1982's In the Heat of the Night, was their most successful, spawning a trio of U.S. R&B chart hits in the form of "Just an Illusion" (#27), "Magic and Lights" (#52), and "Changes" (#46).  The group's success fizzled until their mid ‘90s breakup (at the time, Leee John was the only remaining original member), though 1984's "This Means War" was able to put a dent in the U.S. R&B chart. John remained active in the entertainment industry, hosting U.K. television programs and continuing his recording career as a solo artist and collaborator.  (mn-jt)
1975  John Joseph Akar dies in Kingston, Jamaica.
1963  Vince Phillips IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion Boxer is born. Record: 38-3 (27). Best wins: Kostya Tszyu; Mickey Ward and Freddie Pendleton. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. (mn-ring)
1976  Patrick Vieiri, 6'4", 13.0 footballer born in Dakar, Senegal. Club Honours: PL '98; FAC'98. International Honours: France: 9. Arsenal paid AC Milan £3,500,000 for him on 14/8/96. (bh-mn)
1990  American producer/songwriter Maurice Starr has seven acts with whom he had been or still was associated in the Top 100 of the US chart: Perfect Gentlemen, Ana, New Kids On The Block, Seiko and Donnie, Bell Biv Devo, Johnny Gil and Bobby Brown. (mn-jt)
1996  Archbishop Desmond Tutu retired after 10 years with South African Anglican Church. Nelson Mandela attended the ceremony in Cape Town. (mn-tx)
2006 Andrew Hawkins supposed ancestor to Sir John Hawkins, slave trader from the 14th Century apologises for slavery to a crowd of 25,000 in a stadium in Gambia. (mn-bbc)

24th. JUNE 

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  033: RICHARD H. CAIN (1825-1887)
1692  Kingston Jamaica was founded on this date in 1692. It is the capital and chief port of Jamaica, an island nation in the West Indies. Kingston lies on the southeast coast of Jamaica, at the northern end of a nearly landlocked harbor. The city serves as the cultural, commercial, and industrial heart of Jamaica. Principal industries include food processing, oil refining, and the production of cement and other building materials. Kingston was founded after an earthquake destroyed the nearby city of Port Royal. Kingston replaced Port Royal as the commercial center. In the mid-1700's, the British rulers of Jamaica declared Kingston a free port, one of a few ports in the British West Indies where foreign ships could trade. Kingston became the capital in 1872. Kingston has suffered a number of natural disasters, including hurricanes in 1880, 1951, and 1980; a fire in 1882; and an earthquake in 1907. Much of the city has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. Today, Kingston covers an area larger than many Caribbean islands and has both wealthy and poor communities. Its population is 104,041 metro areas and 524,638 overall. It is the home of Reggae music. (aareg)
1869  Mary Ellen, Mammy Pleasant, Abolitionist, officially becomes Voodoo Queen in San Francisco.
1896  Booker T. Washington is the first African American to receive an honouree M.A. degree from Harvard University. (tr-iokts)
1933  Apollo Theater opens. Located at 253 West 125th Street in central Harlem, New York City, The Apollo Theater was the most important venue in Black show business from the 1930s through the 1970s, when waning popularity caused it financial problems. The theater itself began its life in 1913 as Hurtig and Seamon's Music Hall, a venue frequented by white vaudeville acts that entertained predominantly white crowds until the 1930s. Sidney Cohen purchased the theater in 1933 and renamed it the Apollo, replacing the vaudeville fare with black entertainment. The Apollo's first show in 1934, Jazz a la Carte, featured Benny Carter's big-band and helped to solidify the theater's new role as the City's primary African-American performance venue, overshadowing the Lincoln and Lafayette theaters. With live broadcasts that featured the Duke Ellington and Count Basie orchestras, the Apollo became a mecca for jazz bands in the 1930s and 1940s. By the 1950s, the Apollo Theater was the nation's top stage for established black artists and the Apollo's famous Amateur Night, in which unknown performers had their talent assessed by the notoriously raucous Harlem audience, had become a springboard for numerous careers. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Pearl Bailey, for example, were all early Amateur Night winners, and later acts like the Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder also enjoyed their first major exposure at the Apollo. As musical styles changed, the theater evolved with the times, booking rhythm and blues, gospel, funk, soul and hip-hop acts, and hosting landmark performances by artists like James Brown. During the 1970s the Apollo steadily lost money, forcing its closure in 1977. Its declaration as a national historic landmark in 1983 secured the building's survival, but efforts to make it a viable performance house throughout the 1980s failed.  The theatre was taken on by a nonprofit organization in 1991, which intended to make the theatre a significant part of Harlem's 125th street renewal. (aareg)
1942  Garland Green, soul singer born in Dunleath, Mississippi, USA. Green used most of his distinctive baritones, plaintive with blues feel, to create a marvellous body of typical Chicago-style uptown soul during the late 60's and early 70's. He came to Chicago in 1958, and found work in the corn-starch factory while singing at weekends in local clubs. He was discovered by Jo Armstead in 1967, he made his mark with Girl I Need You, but it failed to chart, fame came later with Jealous Kind of Fellow, which went to No. 3 on the R&B chart in 1969.  (mn-cl)

25th. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  034: JOHN R. LYNCH (1847-1939)
1908  Beatrice Murphy, editor and author, born.
1935  Eddie Floyd a founder member of the Falcons and later solo artist for Stax Records, born on this day in Montgomery, Alabama, USA. He was on both Falcon's hits 'Your So Fine'(1959) and 'I Found A Love'(1962). His first single for Stax Records was 'Things Get Better'(1965), best remembered though for his 1966 hit 'Knock On Wood'. (mn)
1939  Harold Melvin, singer with The Bluenotes born in Philadelphia, USA. The Bluenotes began as a doo-wop group. In 1960, they enjoyed a minor hit 'My Hero', but failed to make a breakthrough even after some excellent singles. By the end of the decade only Melvin and Bernard Wilson still remained, but with new members there fortune changed also the drummer, Teddy Pendergrass started to singing. They were signed by producers Gamble and Huff with Philadelphia International Records, the hits started coming initially with 'You Don't Know Me By Now' (1972), followed by 'The Love I Lost' (1973), and 'Where Are All My Friends' (1974). Pendergrass now wanted equal billing but was refused and left the group. A couple of hits for ABC Records followed but by the 1980's the group had no recording contract. Melvin Died after a stroke and long illness 27/3/97. (mn-cl)
1941  US President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues Executive Order No. 8802, forbidding racial bias in war industries and government service. (Roosevelt helped African-Americans fight the Depression in a variety of fields and departments. In fact the number of Blacks employed by the government rose from 50,000 at Roosevelt's first election in 1932 to nearly 200,000 by the end of World War II.) (tr-iokts-ss-mn)
1953  Dillinger, reggae DJ, born Lester Bullocks, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. In 1971 he commenced his career as a DJ, working on the sound systems of Prince Jackie and El Brasso where he initially imitated U-Roy, Dennis Alcapone and Big Youth, before forging his own style. His 'Cocaine on My Brain' was popular in Europe and the USA and the follow-up 'Marijuana on My Brian' (1979), became No.1 in Holland. (mn-cl)
1984  The Purple Rain album by Prince broke the record for quantity of sales in a single day when a reported 1.3 million copies crossed the counters within 24 hours. (mn-jt)
1998  Miss Irie dee-jay and sister of singer Tipa Irie shot in the head by robbers & lays in a coma for several days before dying. (mn-echoes)
2006  [Arif Mardin], Atlantic Records' Turkish born producer dies. b. 15th March 1932, Istanbul, Turkey. Studio manager, arranger and producer Arif Mardin has died from pancreatic cancer. He was 74. Mardin worked with Aretha Franklin, The Rascals, Dusty Springfield, Patti Labelle, Roberta Flack, Hall & Oates, Average White Band, Anita Baker, George Benson, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, and Laura Nyro. Mardin, who started his career in 1963 at Atlantic Records, a company founded by fellow Turks Nasuhi and Ahmet Ertegun. He retired from Atlantic in 2001 to set up his own label at EMI, Manhattan Records, where he nutured the likes of, newcomer on the scene, Norah Jones. Mardin produced about 60 golden and platinum albums and won countless awards, 12 of them Grammys. Mardin studied economics at Istanbul University and at the London School of Economics. Mardin and his wife moved to the United States in 1956 and he graduated from Berklee in 1961, where he taught for one year before moving to New York, which had been his home ever since. He will be buried in his native Istanbul next week, his family said in a statement. Arif is survived by his wife Latife, son Joe, and daughters Julie and Nazan. (mn-soulwalking)
2006  Knight and Walker honoured by Queen. Soul singer Beverly Knight, and veteran actor Rudolph Walker were among those awarded gongs in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, writes Letitiah Obiri. The honours, announced  in celebration of the Queen’s 80th birthday, rewarded contributions to the arts, business and charity work. MOBO winner Knight was awarded an MBE for her charity work with Christian Aid, of which she is an ambassador. She has travelled to Third World countries many times to raise and promote awareness of poverty. The singer, who grew up in Wolverhampton, said: ‘I’m surprised and honoured to be recognised in this way for what I do. ‘The best reason for accepting this award is knowing how thrilled and proud my family, who have given me so much love and support, will be to see me get it.’  (new nation)
2009 Michael Jackson had a heart attack and dies in hospital. The singer was not breathing when paramedics arrived at his Bel Air home at about 1230 (1900GMT), media reports say. Unconfirmed reports on TMZ entertainment website say the 50-year-old star has died. The paramedics performed CPR on Jackson as the ambulance took him to the UCLA medical centre, officials say. Crowds have begun to gather outside the facility, whose emergency centre has been roped off by police. The star was due to begin a series of comeback concerts with an appearance at London's O2 arena on 13 July. He has a history of health problems and has not completed a concert tour in 12 years. (bbc news)

26th. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  035: JEFFERSON LONG (1836-1900)
Independence Day in the Democratic Republic of Madagascar and The Republic of Somalia
1893  Big Bill Broonzy, blues songwriter/singer, born, Scott, Miss, USA. (died August 15, 1958, Chicago, Ill, USA.) (mn-rs)
1940  Billy Davis Jr., singer with The Fifth Dimension is born.The Fifth Dimension's unique sound lay somewhere between smooth, elegant soul and straightforward, adult-oriented pop, often with a distinct flower-power vibe. Although they appealed more to mainstream listeners than to a hip, hardcore R&B audience, they had a definite ear for contemporary trends; their selection of material helped kickstart the notable songwriting careers of Jimmy Webb and Laura Nyro, and their biggest hit was a medley from the hippie musical Hair, "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In." (mn-jt)
1943  Jean Knight, soul singer is born. Jean Knight's only big hit was a monster — the sassy funk classic "Mr. Big Stuff," one of the largest-selling singles ever released by the legendary Stax label. A native of New Orleans, Knight made her first recordings for producer Huey P. Meaux's Jet Stream and Tribe labels during the mid- to late '60s (many of her sides were later collected on West Side's Blue Soul Belles, Vol. 2). Her success largely confined to the immediate area, Knight was working as a baker when she went to Malaco Studios in Jackson, MS, for a session with veteran producer Wardell Quezerque in 1970. The key track, a spirited putdown of male arrogance called "Mr. Big Stuff," was shopped to Stax Records, who passed on it at first. However, after King Floyd's "Groove Me" (another Malaco recording) went gold, Stax reconsidered and released "Mr. Big Stuff" in 1971. It was an enormous hit, spending five weeks at number one on the R&B charts and falling one slot short of the same position on the pop side. Despite a strong accompanying album of the same name and some similarly gritty follow-up singles (which included "You Think You're Hot Stuff" and "Carry On"), Knight couldn't manage to duplicate the success of "Mr. Big Stuff," and quickly faded from the soul scene. (mn-jt)
1946  Brenda Holloway soul singer born in Atascadero, Californium, USA. In 1997 Brenda visited the UK and recorded a two hour programme for PCRL, it was an exclusive one-off interview with Bill Randle. One of the sexiest singers on the Motown label, Brenda Holloway was also one of its grittiest, with a strong gospel influence more typical of Southern soul than the company's usual polish. Best known for her ballad hit "Every Little Bit Hurts," Holloway also recorded (and co-wrote) the original version of "You've Made Me So Very Happy," which soon became a hit for jazz-rockers Blood Sweat & Tears.  (mn-wiki)

1952  The African National Congress begins its Defence of Unjust Laws campaign in South Africa.
1955  3,000 delegates demonstrate for equal rights, Kliptown, Johannesburg.  1973  Marsha Hunt brought a paternity suit against Mick Jagger. (mn-jt)
1993  Roy Campanella, legendary catcher for Negro leagues and the Los Angeles Dodgers, dies. An automobile accident put "Campy" in a wheelchair, but nothing ever put a damper on his spirit. He started his baseball career at the age of 15, The hall of Fame (1969) catcher was the natural leader of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1948 to 1957, taking them to five penants. He hit a total of 242 home runs, was an All-Star eight times, and was named Most Valuable Player three times  (1951, 1953, 1955). In retirement, he continued to personify baseball's greatness, touring an talking to fans. (tr-iokts-ss-mn)
1998  Jamaica beats Japan 2-1 in the World Cup Football in France. (mn)
2001  Four youths are charged with the murder of Damiola Taylor in October of 2000. (mn)

27th. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT: 036: JOHN MERCER LANGSTON (1829-1897)  
1858  William Wells Brown writes the first play written by a black to be published.
1872  Paul Laurence Dunbar, prominent poet and writer is born in Drayton, Ohio, USA. Son of former slaves, Dunbar was a precocious child who began to write poems at the age of six. In 1893 he published his first book of poetry, Oak And Ivory. (mm-tr-iokts-ss)
1893  Crystal Bird Fauset, the first black woman legislator, is born in Princess Anne, Maryland.
1905  Ruby Middleton Forsythe born. (tr-bl)
1935  Byron Lee, reggae artiste born in Jamaica, West Indies. Lee along with his manager, Ronnie Nasralla, put together the Dragonaires in 1956 and worked as a support act for touring singers including Harry Belafonte, and their debut single 'Dumplings' in 1960 was the first  release on the UK's Blue Beat label (Dragon's Breath in JA). He did much to promote the ska-beat sound. In 1969 Lee bought out the old WIRL set-up and established Dynamic Sounds as the best equipped and most popular studio in the Caribbean. He still records these days but only soca.  (mn-cl)
1953  Louis Risbrook, member of B.T. Express is born.  This funk-disco group was formed by Jeff Lane in Brooklyn during the '70s. They started in 1972 as the King Davis House Rockers, and later were called the Brooklyn Trucking Express. The roster consisted of saxophonist/vocalist Bill Risbrook, percussionist Dennis Rowe, guitarist Rick Thompson, saxophonist/flutist Carlos Ward, keyboardist Michael Jones (Kashif), lead guitarist/vocalist Wesley Hall, drummer Leslie Ming, bassist, organist and vocalist Louis Risbrook, and vocalist Barbara Joyce Lomas. Their debut LP Do it ('Til You're Satisfied) had two number-one R&B and Top Ten pop hits in the title cut and "Express." Subsequent LPs yielded two more R&B Top Ten singles, "Give It What You Got/Peace Pipe" in 1975 and "Can't Stop Groovin' Now, Wanna Do It Some More" in 1976. After 1977's "Shout It Out," which cracked the R&B Top 20 (number 12), the group slumped with the album Shout! They were off the charts until 1980. They made a slight comeback that year with B.T. Express 1980, though only the single "Give Up the Funk (Let's Dance)" made it into the Top 40 (number 24). They later recorded for Record Shack, Earthtone, and King Davis, but couldn't duplicate their earlier success. Kashif scored hits as a producer, performer, and composer in the '80s.  (mn-jt)
1970  Anthony Rochester, reggae artist born, Kingston Jamaica, West Indies. His initial involvement in the music scene was with Neville Lee's sound system. Under the guise of Fire, he performed with Lee's until an argument ended the association; shortly afterwards, Rochester embraced Rastafari. He then met Garnet Silk and together they wrote the singers debut 'You're gonna need love'. (mn-cl)
1971  New York's major rock dedicated auditorium the Fillmore East, closed. (mn-jt)
1984 Louis 'Blues Boy' Jones passed away aged 53, due to complications from a stroke.
Born to Louis Jones, Sr. and Rebecca Prince Jones, a singer songwriter, pianist and drummer who would go on to sing with the Bobby Scott Orchestra, record a song for a major motion picture, and travel world-wide and worked with Ray Charles. Jones also sang back-up vocals for various blues and gospel acts on labels such as Peacock for Don Robey and Sabra Records (both located in Houston, Texas at the time) In New York his movie work included the song "The Birds Is Coming c/w That's Cus I Love You" for Decca and for the Alfred Hitchcock thriller, The Birds, in 1963. His daughter La Vern recalls that Joe Smith, the last living member of the Bobby Scott Orchestra, remembers that he and Jones performed at a number of clubs in Galveston, including the Jambalaya, Big Heavy's and the Manhattan Club. With the Bobby Scott he recorded  two now collectible singles for the Sebra label: "Come On Home (also appeared on Okeh), Someway - Somewhere, & I'll Be your fool.  "Rock-n-Roll Bells b/w All Over Goodbye for Peacock. Posibly his last recording, was "Hurry Baby" released on Enjoy.. (Michael Durisseau - Galveston Post/nold)
1991  U.S, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall announces his retirement.
1997  UK Soul singer Mark Morrison is released from prison. He had been found guilty of 'threatening a police officer', with a stun gun. He was locked up in May. He had a hit with The Return of the Mack'. (mn)
2001  Last day for bids for a Malcolm X post card from 1955, bids of between $4,500 - $5,000 are invited (£2,500-£3,000!). It reads in full: "As Salaam Alaikum, you can tell by the territory I've covered that Islam is speeding.. Hold fast to it. Bro. Malcolm X" (odyssey)
2008 Nelson Mandela's 90th Birthday Celibrations at Hyde Park London. With Wil Smith, Razorlight, Leona Lewis & Amy Winehouse as guest performers. (mn)
2009 Fayette Pinkney (The Three Degrees) dies. b. Fayette R. Pinkney, 10th January 1948, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. d. 27th June 2009, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Fayette Pinkney, of the group The Three Degreees has died. She was 61. She passed away from acute respiratory failure at the Lansdale Hospital in Philadelphia. Fayette was one of the original members of the female soul group, who, as teenagers, were brought together by manager Richard Barrett to form The Three Degrees. She remained with the group until 1976. Fayette achieved a bachelor's degree in psychology from Temple University and a master's degree from Lincoln University in 1984. She also worked as a counselor and vocal coach, and traveled with a group called the Intermezzo Choir Ministry. In 1994, Pinkney gave birth to a daughter, Ayana Alexandria, who died a few days later due to sudden infant death syndrome. Fayette Pinkney is survived by her brother, nephew Milford Pinkney and niece Michele Pinkney. (soulwalking.co.uk)

28th. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  037: JAMES T. RAPIER (1839-1884)  
1946 CECIL MORRIS 70th Birthday (PCRL's FOUNDER BORN TODAY)
1770  Philadelphia Quakers open the first school for blacks.
1911  Samuel J. Battle becomes the fist black policeman in New York City.
1946  Cecil Morris - The founder of The Peoples Community Radio Link born in Claredon, Jamaica. Moved to England in 1962.  Cecil along with Pilot are strong motivating forces behind this radio station. "This group (PCRL) was set up in 1980 as a pressure group to highlight the lack of input into the broadcasting  media for the black community. By 1983 negotiations in Geneva gave extended frequencies to accommodate community radio, but PCRL was not included, so in 1985 we started broadcasting illegally!" - Cecil. (Station closed in March 2004).
1960  Diane-Louise Jordan (uk presenter) born. (nationmaster)
1965  Delfeayo Marsalis, Hard Bop Trombone, b. New Orleans, LA. This younger brother of Wynton and Branford Marsalis began his career as a record producer, studying both the Trombone and also Studio Production at University of Southern California's Berklee campus. He toured with Ray Charles, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and Abdullah Ibrahim. In 1992, he recorded his first album as a leader. More recently, he has played with the Elvin Jones' Jazz Machine. He has written some outrageously opinionated liner notes for his brothers' albums, while trying to appear objectively indifferent. (nfo.net)
1982  Harry Mills, singer with The Mills Brothers dies. (mn-jt) The Mills Brothers were one of the leading close harmony vocal groups of the 30's and 40's. They started their singing career in a Cincinnati radio station. That was in 1930; over the following few years, the group became steady record sellers and made several film appearances. In 1934 their version of Tiger Rag, a 1917 Dixieland tune made them internationally famous. (mn-bmc-d)
1978  Juke Boy Bonner, multi-instrumentalist, dies, Houston, Texas, USA. Born into impoverished circumstances in the Lone Star State during the Depression, Weldon Bonner took up the guitar in his teens. He caught a break in 1947 in Houston, winning a talent contest that led to a spot on a local radio outlet. He journeyed to Oakland in 1956, cutting his debut single for Bob Geddins's Irma imprint ("Rock with Me Baby"/"Well Baby") with Lafayette "Thing" Thomas supplying the lead guitar. Goldband Records boss Eddie Shuler was next to take a chance in 1960; Bonner recorded for him in Lake Charles, LA, with Katie Webster on piano, but once again, nothing happened career-wise. Troubled with illnesses from the mid-60's he died on this day. (mn-rs)
1981  Henry Brown, boogie-woogie piano player, dies, St. Louis, Mo, USA. Born in Troy,TN in 1909. Henry Brown left Tennessee for St. Louis, MO, at the age of 12 and took up the piano while still in school. His playing style, an economical form of piano blues, was taught to him by a Deep Morgan Street blues player known to the public only as "Blackmouth." Brown later worked with St. Louis Jimmy Oden and trombonist Ike Rogers; with Rogers and guitarist Lawrence Casey, he formed a trio called the Biddle Street Boys. He recorded sides (often in tandem with Rogers) with Mary Johnson, among others, in between playing in clubs around St. Louis, where he lived most of his life and worked regularly right up through the mid-'70s. (mn-rs)
1995   Eddie Hinton, guitar/piano/songwriter, died in Birmingham, AL, USA. Age: 51 (nfo.net)
1997  Boxer Mike Tyson was disqualified after going into round 3 with no gum shield and biting both of Evander Holyfield's ears and spitting out a piece on the floor in front of him, in Vagas, USA. (mn)
2006 A judge rules that charges against four officers in relation to the death of a man in police custody be dropped. This was the case where Mikey Powell who had been arrested by the police and ended up dead. The trial continues. (mn)

29th. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  038: EBONEZR D. BASSETT (1833-1908)   
1886  James Van Der Zee, famous photographer, born in Lenox, Ma.
1938  Billy Storm, singer with The Valiants was born.  (mn-jt)
1943  Little Eva, soul singer is born Eva Narcissus Boyd. She was the writers' Carol King/Jerry Goffin's live-in baby sitter until in '61  they gave her fame as a singer. Best remembered for the 1962 hit,'The Loco-motion.' Penniless and on welfare though by 1971. (mn)
1953  The first single by The Drifters was recorded 'Lucille.' (mn-jt)
1960 Evelyn "Champagne" King born. Rumor has it that this Bronx born vocalist was discovered while singing to herself as she helped her mother clean up a Philadelphia recording studio. In 1978, she scored a million-selling Top 10 pop hit with her debut single, “Shame”. Her other hits included “I Don’t Know If It’s Right”, “I’m In Love”, and “Love Come Down.”  (wbls)
1964  Stedman Pearson, singer with Five Star is born. In 1983 Five Star, all black R&B quintet, all members of the Pearson family who lived in the east London suburb of Romford, released their debut single Problematic, on there own Tent Record label. (mn-jt)
1965  Roger Zokou Boli, football striker for Walsall '97-'98, height: 5'7", weight: 11.0, born on the Ivory Coast. (bh-mn)
1969  Shorty Long, soul singer drowns in a boating accident. Long was born in 1940 in Alabama. Signed to Motown in 1964, his debut release was Devil With The Blue Dress. This was followed by Function at the Junction and in 1968 Here Come The Judge, the title of his subsequent first album. The follow-up, The Prime of Shorty Long contains a tribute song to Martin Luther King. He died in a boating accident on the Detroit River on this day. (mn-jt-rt)
1976  Seychelles, 115 islands achieves independence from Gt. Britain.
1983  Harlem's Apollo Theatre was designated a New York landmark. (mn-jt)

30th. JUNE

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  039: JAMES LEWIS (1823-1897?) 
Independence Day-Republic of Zaire.
1917  Lena Horne actor/singer/civil rights advocate born on this day in Brooklyn, N.Y., USA. Singer/actress Lena Horne's primary occupation was nightclub entertaining, a profession she pursued successfully around the world for more than 60 years, from the 1930s to the 1990s. In conjunction with her club work, she also maintained a recording career that stretched from 1936 to 2000 and brought her three Grammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989; she appeared in 16 feature films and several shorts between 1938 and 1978; she performed occasionally on Broadway, including in her own Tony-winning one-woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music in 1981-1982; and she sang and acted on radio and television.  (mn-tx)
1943  Florence Ballard soul singer and founding member of the original Supremes group, America's all time best selling female group born in Detroit, USA. Fired from the Supremes in 1968. Dies from a heart attack, while living in extreme poverty 8 years later on the 22nd. February, 1976. (mn-cl)
1951  Stanley Clark, soul singer/bass player is born. A brilliant player on both acoustic and electric basses, Stanley Clarke has spent much of his career outside of jazz, although he has the ability to play jazz with the very best. He played accordion as a youth, switching to violin and cello before settling on bass. He worked with R&B and rock bands in high school, but after moving to New York, he worked with Pharoah Sanders in the early '70s. Other early gigs were with Gil Evans, Mel Lewis, Horace Silver, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, and Art Blakey; everyone was impressed by his talents. However, Clarke really hit the big time when he started teaming up with Chick Corea in Return to Forever. When the group became a rock-oriented fusion quartet, Clarke mostly emphasized electric bass and became an influential force, preceding Jaco Pastorius. But, starting with his School Days album (1976), and continuing through his funk group with George Duke (the Clarke/Duke Project), up to his projects writing movie scores, Stanley Clarke largely moved beyond the jazz world into commercial music; his 1988 Portrait album If This Bass Could Only Talk, and his 1995 collaboration with Jean Luc Ponty and Al DiMeola on the acoustic The Rite of Strings, are two of his few jazz recordings since the '70s.  (mn-jt-allmusic)
1966  Mike Tyson African-American heavyweight boxer born this day. Michael Gerard Tyson born in Brooklyn, New York, USA, also known as "Malik Abdul Aziz" via Islamic conversion, is a former American professional boxer and World Heavyweight Champion, and is considered by many to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. In his prime, he routinely defeated prominent opponents in devastating fashion, and was one of the most feared boxers in the sport, known by such nicknames as "Iron" Mike Tyson, Kid Dynamite, and The Baddest Man on the Planet. His once immensely promising career was undermined by serious personal problems, lack of preparation, and periods of imprisonment. Upon release following his first prison sentence, he made a heavily anticipated comeback, but failed to reclaim his previous dominance. On June 11, 2005, Tyson suffered a defeat to journeyman Kevin McBride, and shortly after retired from the sport.  (mn-tx-wickpedia)
1967  Major Robert Laurence Jr. is named first black astronaut.
1970  James Brown record's Super Bad at Starday-King Studios, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. It reaches N0.1 in the R&B chart in September that year. (mn)
1984 Fantasia Barrino, singer born in High Point, North Carolina, USA. (wickpedia)
1995  Phyllis Hyman soul singer dies. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Phyllis Hyman began her career as a silky voiced, jazz-influenced singer and gradually moved into slick, heavily produced urban contemporary ballads and light dance numbers. Hyman won a scholarship to music school and then began her professional career with the group New Direction in 1971. When they disbanded after a national tour, Hyman joined the Miami ensemble All the People. She also worked there with another local group, the Hondo Beat, and appeared in the film Lenny. That was followed by a two-year stint heading Phyllis Hyman & the P/H Factor, before relocating to New York. Hyman did background vocals on Jon Lucien's Premonition LP and built her reputation performing in New York clubs. Norman Connors made her his featured vocalist in the mid-'70s, and she was highlighted on a cover of the Stylistics' "Betcha By Golly Wow," which appeared on Connors' You Are My Starship LP. Hyman also sang with Pharaoh Sanders & the Fatback Band while cutting two singles as a lead artist. Buddah released Phyllis Hyman in 1977, but she really began making an impression when she was signed by Arista the next year. The songs "Somewhere in My Lifetime" and "You Know How to Love Me" both made the R&B Top 20. Hyman got her lone Top Ten hit in 1981 with "Can't We Fall in Love Again," but her albums did consistently well through the '80s. The production teams of Mtume/Reggie Lucas and Narada Michael Walden/Thom Bell gave her material that showcased her skill with sophisticated ballads. Hyman had more success when she left Arista for Philadelphia International in 1986, with the single "Living All Alone" putting her back in the R&B Top 20. She also sang on fusion and light jazz dates by Joe Sample, Ronnie Foster, and Grover Washington, Jr., a more conventional jazz session for McCoy Tyner, and a pop date with the Four Tops. Tragically, Hyman took her own life on June 30, 1995; Forever With You was issued posthumously. (allmusic)
1997  An arrest warrant is out for singer Sade after she fails to appear in court in Montego Bay, Jamaica after police arrested her on driving charge and gave her bail of $5000. The court says that she may now be expelled. (mn)
1997  A volcanic eruption on the Caribbean island of Montserrat kills 20 people dozens are missing and eight villages are obliterated. It had awoke in July 1995. (mn)
1998  Rudi Nuryan, activist/lawyer dies from a liver complaint in a London hospital. (dp-txx)
2002 (Howard) Richard 'Pistol' Allen, Motown drummer died of complications with cancer, Royal Oak, Mitchican. (mn)
2005 Jamaican singer Clancy Eccles dies at 64. Singer and producer, dies. He was 64. Eccles died at a hospital in Spanish Town, outside the capital of Kingston, five days after suffering a stroke, said his son, Clancy Eccles Jr. Eccles started his career as a singer in the 1950s and rose to prominence with the 1961 hit song "River Jordan." In 1967, he turned to music production, producing "Kingston Town" by the Trinidadian singer Lloyd Creator and many other records in the 1970s. Eccles actively supported the campaign of socialist Michael Manley in Jamaica's 1972 elections, organizing a bandwagon with reggae stars who went around the island on Manley's behalf. Four years later, he produced the nationalistic song "My Leader Born Yah," which paid homage to Manley's socialist program. (ap)
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